Speech from Invictus Games Foundation Patron, The Duke of Sussex, at launch of One Year To Go until #IG2020
A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at the official launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020
Your Royal Highness Princess Margriet, Competitors, Supporters, Family and friends, I am obviously delighted to be here today to help mark the countdown to The Invictus Games The Hague 2020.
When we launched the first Invictus Games in 2014 I knew that these men and women, who had given it their all in service to their country , would now do the same on the sports field, inspiring millions of people around the world and changing mindsets around disability forever.
I had seen first-hand the transformative power of sport in helping people physically and psychologically recover and knew that the Invictus Games would change lives, capture hearts and inspire a generation, the Invictus generation.
Now here we are, launching the countdown to the fifth Invictus Games and I am absolutely thrilled that many more wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women will have the opportunity to continue their journey to recovery.
Our mental fitness is the key, because without it we fail to operate efficiently; but with it your physical performance and potential are exponentially improved and we have witnessed this over and over again.
Right now, thousands of hopeful competitors around the world are training hard, putting the hours in and aiming to represent their country once again at next years’ Games. 19 nations will be represented here, standing shoulder to shoulder, and showing the world what teamwork, friendship and loyalty really means.
In these challenging times these values are more important than ever.
Being here today in Zuiderpark, meeting you and your family and friends, reminds us not only what these Games mean to the competitors, but also of the impact they have on the wider public. It is your resilience, your determination and your courage which draw crowds in their thousands. Leaving them feeling more inspired, moved and proud than they ever thought possible. You have already proved – anything is possible.
The Netherlands have supported the Games from the very beginning – I think we can all clearly remember seeing a sea of orange in the crowds in London, Orlando, Toronto and Sydney, as well as hearing you!
And today’s visit has given me a real taste of what competitors and their family and friends can expect next year. I know that once again you will fully get behind the Servicemen and women who have represented their countries so bravely, and that everyone watching here and around the world won’t want to miss a single moment of these Games…. make these Games your own, we chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t just coz I like the colour orange!
Thank you all for guarding the Invictus spirit and see you in 2020!