Closing Ceremony of the Invictus Games 2023

Dr. Olesya Zaglada visited the Closing Ceremony of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023. 

It started with the marching in of the nations, followed by the greetings of Ted Colbert III, of Boeing.

The highlight of the Ceremony was the closing speech by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He noted that Invictus Games is not merely a “sporting event with exciting competitions, international teams and numerous heart-stopping finals, although those are all part of it. What you notice from the very first moment you come in here is something else: an immensely strong sense of community and solidarity.” 

He continued: “It is the community of those who have not let themselves be beaten. Not by death, or by their severe physical injury or emotional scars.” He encouraged the proud participants with: “All of you here refuse to give up. And in that you are an example to us all!”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the official Closing Ceremony in Düsseldorf.

The Prince, the Duke of Sussex, founder of the Games and its patron, officially closed the event with a touching and emotional speech, plus provided a preview of the next games, flagged for Vancouver-Whistler in 2025.

Harry concluded: “As you’ve seen and experienced, this week is so much more than a sporting event. It is a platform for positive change.”

He spoke about how the competitors had impacted millions of people around the world. “We’ve all witnessed the true impact sport has had on your recovery, 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, through your resilience and your sheer abilities. You have shown us that joy can emerge from struggle.”

After that, the German team transferred the hosting and flag of the Invictus Games to the Canadian team, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau per video message welcomed the competitors in Canada for the Invictus Games in February 2025.

The grand finale of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 was a performance by singer-songwriter Rita Ora. “I am incredibly proud to be part of the Closing Ceremony of the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf. I am so excited to perform in front of this unique audience. The Invictus Games are a very special sporting event, and the competitors are an inspiration of perseverance and willpower for all of us,” said Ms Ora. 

The atmosphere during the week of the games in Düsseldorf was amazing. Local residents were able to meet the competitors everywhere in the city, even on public transportation, and show them the respect they deserve. Founder of PSF Olesya Zaglada met the bronze winner of the Invictus Games in table tennis, Cosa Dazzi, and the Nigerian competitor, Amen Thomas, in the German U-Bahn before the Closing Ceremony.

Nigeria joined the Invictus Community of Nations in 2022 and became the first African country to join the Invictus movement. At the Opening Ceremony, Prince Harry personally welcomed Nigeria for their debut in Düsseldorf. We congratulate the Nigerian team on their successful start!

PSF thanks all the participants of the Invictus Games for their personal example, urging them not to give up and sending them our good wishes in their preparation for the Invictus Games in Canada!