Closing Ceremony speech from the Duke of Sussex
Wow, what a week! You’ve only gone and done it again!
Did you have fun?
I said, did you have fun?!
If your goal was to make your country proud – you’ve done it.
If your goal was to make your family happy – you’ve achieved it.
If your goal was a medal, a PB, or to merely finish the race – you’ve smashed it.
And, if your goal was to leave stronger than when you arrived – well, let’s hear it?
THATS RIGHT. YOU’VE DONE IT.
As I’ve said to a lot of you, you can train for the sport, but you can’t train for the atmosphere!
You have ALL summited YOUR mountain.
I could not be prouder of every single one of you.
We, your friends and family, could not be prouder of who you are and what you represent, especially given what it’s taken to get here. Mindset is everything.
A POWERFUL quote has been doing the rounds this week, and rightly so. ‘The wound is the place where the light enters you.’
Think about that for a second. The very awareness you have of your wound, of your injury, of your illness, is an opportunity for post-traumatic growth…..and my god you’re growing.
The openness and honesty of your feelings and experiences, of what has happened to you rather than what is wrong with you, provides understanding and healing.
From interviews that Invictus did across the Park this week, and as some of you have shared with me personally, many would’ve taken their own life had it not been for these games. You made a choice to be here, to stay with us, to grow with us, and I can’t explain how much it means to me – and how much all of you mean to us. This is a blueprint of what the wider world needs today. THE POWER OF RESILIENCE. THE POWER OF HEALING. THE POWER OF RECOVERY. So if or when you feel alone – please know that you are not alone . This community is with you. We are all with you.
To friends and family, we literally wouldn’t be here without you. We thank you for sharing and shouldering the weight of our wounds.
From vulnerability comes strength, and together, all of us are defining the Invictus generation.
In or out of uniform, we stand up to injustice
We answer the call for help.
We defend those that need defending.
Service and sacrifice are in our blood, and don’t you ever forget it.
Last week, I said that your collective stories would be written into the history books. Well, the ink isn’t yet dry, and we sure wrote some great stories together.
My ask of you is to bottle the memory and feeling of this past week. Bring it with you when you leave. Know that it’s always there when you need it.
Next year, we’re going to Germany, and we’ll be unleashing the Invictus spirit YET AGAIN.
And then, The Invictus Games Foundation, with permission and by invitation from the First Nations, has selected Vancouver and Whistler to host our first ever Winter Hybrid Games in Canada in 2025!
So, if you’re watching from home, discover that warrior heart that’s beating inside you, coz we’re gonna need you in the coming years!
To all of you here tonight, I am honoured to have served alongside you.
Thank you for your service.
We’ll see you in Dusseldorf!