Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games of lasting benefit to Newcastle

NEWCASTLE has farewelled thousands of visitors who came far and wide to attend the first Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games.

Closing celebrations at Foreshore Park last Saturday capped off the week-long event in style, with a parade, music, dancing and fireworks.

With the Games finished, the city has reflected on its opportunity to host the event.

Newcastle's restaurants, accommodation and transport alone reeled in about $20million.

However, it was not just the economic impact that benefited the city.

Newcastle deputy lord mayor Brad Luke said the Games had left a lasting impression on Novocastrians.

"Those who had the chance to go along and see the athletes compete were amazed," Cr Luke said.

"Being disabled, these athletes have had to overcome so many hurdles and it's just wonderful to witness their motivation to keep going," he said.

The Games had also been a lesson on how to co-ordinate an international event, paving the way for the 2015 Asian Cup, which Newcastle will host.

"After the Games, I believe Newcastle can achieve anything," Cr Luke said.

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