Cole beaming as Paralympics career ends

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Declaring "once a Paralympian, always a Paralympian", record-breaking Australian swimmer Ellie Cole is going out on top.

The 29-year-old's international swimming career ended on Thursday night when won bronze as a member of the 4x100 medley relay team.

That, and her silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay, gave Cole 17 Paralympic medals - making her Australia's most decorated female Paralympian.

The six-time gold medallist has one more medal than fellow swimmer Priya Cooper, who won nine gold.

"It was such a special night ... It was nine days of gruelling competition. You always forget how tiring a Paralympics is," the four-time Paralympian told Channel Seven.

"But to be able to share my 17th medal with a relay team as well as to stand on the podium next to one of the all-time greatest swimmers in the whole Paralympic movement in (American) Jess Long, it was just such a fairytale ending to my Paralympic journey.

"I haven't stopped smiling, I'm so proud to be a Paralympian.

"Once a Paralympian, always a Paralympian and I have some very treasured memories of my time on this team."

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