Invictus Games 2023 all wrapped up

After seven days of competition, displaying hope, resilience and camaraderie among more than 500 international competitors, Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 has wrapped up in style.

CAPTION: Invictus Games 2023 Team Australia competitors enter the stadium during the Invictus Games 2023 closing ceremony at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany. Photo by Flight Sergeant Ricky Fuller.

Team Australia’s 31 serving and former-serving military competitors were joined at the closing ceremony by friends, family and fans from all over the world, coming together to celebrate the successes of the sixth Invictus Games.

The closing ceremony kicked off with a parade of nations as teams took to the stage to rapturous applause from the crowd, marking the end of the eight-day event, held in Düsseldorf from 9 to 16 September.

Representatives from the international contingent of volunteers, family and friends also enjoyed their moment in the Merkur Spiel-Arena’s spotlight, acknowledging the important role they had played in the games.

“We’ve all witnessed the true impact sport has had on your recovery and on your post-traumatic growth,” a visibly emotional Invictus Games patron, Duke of Sussex Prince Harry said during the ceremony.

“But you will never truly know the impact that your actions this week have had on millions of people around the world.

“You have opened people’s hearts through your vulnerability, resilience and through your sheer abilities.

“You have shown us that joy can emerge from struggle.

“And for that, we are eternally grateful.”

It was a long week for the competitors, who each represented their country in three separate sports across the competition, in front of 140,000 people including teammates, military, friends, families and general spectators.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier thanked the participants for their service and commitment, saying the games gave competitors the chance to forge new friendships and find a sense of belonging.

“Your strength to keep on going every single day is what has brought you together here,” he told competitors during the closing ceremony.

“All of you here refuse to give up and in that you are an example to all of us.

“For eight days you have been together with people who understand precisely where you’re coming from when you tell your story.

“And that is exactly the reason for these games.”

English singer-songwriter Sam Ryder entertained the audience early in the ceremony while pop star Rita Ora closed out the night, performing five songs in front of the appreciative crowd.

The Australian contingent will depart Germany today on a Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A for the long flight home.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: CONTACT was unable to reproduce all the news out of the Invictus Games 2023 because editor Brian Hartigan was moving house, and posting volunteer Mike Hughes became a new grandfather during the week. If you want to see more news from Invictus Games 2023, Defence provided wonderfully comprehensive coverage, with stories HERE and photos HERE.

 


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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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