WHISTLER (Canada) (AFP) The night sky above this mountain village lit up Sunday night in a glowing fireworks finale of a winter games organizers say boosted the Paralympics to a new level worldwide. Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, told the closing ceremony the 2010 winter games in western Canada had been the best ever. Amid a glittering display of skiers bearing torches down the mountain, dance, aboriginal throat singing and sports demonstrations, the Paralympic flame was handed over to Sochi, venue of the 2014 games, and the official flag of the games was lowered to the strain of the Paralympic theme. Many of you will go home as champions, you all go home as winners, John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver organizing committee, told more than 500 athletes and hundreds more officials from 44 countries, as well as thousands of spectators before an outdoor stage. You have been remarkable ambassadors of the human spirit, said Furlong. The games in Vancouver and Whistler showcased fantastic competition at a very high level in all sports, Xavier Gonzalez, CEO of the International Paralympic Committee, told AFP. Officials said the 2010 Paralympics drew an international audience via national television broadcasts and Internet viewers that set records for both winter and summer games, while a record 85 per cent of all tickets were sold to alpine skiing, biathalon and cross-country skiing, wheel chair curling and ice sledge hockey events. Sports officials attributed the boom in interest to the fact organizers of the 2010 games were first to jointly promote the Olympics and Paralympics together - without being asked. Ive had to fight with every organizing committee except Vancouvers to get 'Paralympic in the (games) title, said Craven. Thats the turning point. What thats done for the Paralympic movement is take it to a whole new level, said Blair McIntosh, Chef de Mission for the Canadian Paralympic Committee, telling organizers of Londons summer games in 2012 and Sochi in 2014 to brace for more public interest. Russia dominated the podium with 12 golds and a total of 38 medals, followed by Germany with 13 golds and 24 medals, Canada with 10 golds and 19 total medals, and Ukraine, with 5 golds and 19 medals. VANOC officials told reporters Sunday they expect to balance the overall budget for the Paralympics and the Olympics, which closed Feb. 28. But they said the games - 10 years in the making, and involving 30,000 volunteers and workers - will take months to wrap up. Although rain, fog and heavy snow - and sometimes all three together - twice forced officials to reschedule alpine events races at Whistler Creekside, the games were free of major incidents such as the accident that marked the start of the February Olympics here, when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in a horrific training accident. As of Sundays closing only one incident of 'doping was discovered, said Gonzalez. Tests revealed a banned beta blocker that had been prescribed by the doctor of a Swedish wheelchair curler to control blood pressure. The biggest surprise of the games was the failure of Canadas gold- medal defending sledge-hockey team to win a medal, Gonzalez said - adding it shows the sport is growing. Canada has been on top for a few years, and weve seen new facing coming in, he said. In future the IPC expects proposals from sports organizations to add snowboarding, ski cross, a standing version of hockey, bobsleigh, luge and long track speed skating events, said Gonzalez. We are interested because the Paralympic games needs more sports in the program to make it more attractive, and to produce a bigger impact. The good of that Paralympic impact, he added, is that the Paralympics open the minds of the so-called able bodied people, in terms of ocusing on ability and not disability. .. the games are a true element of change in social attitudes, and could improve the lives of people with disabilities.