Opening Ceremony

The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 presented by Jaguar Land Rover have begun. With a multimedia show full of music, dance and beautiful opening words Saturday evening – after a delay of two years due to the Covid19-pandemic – the kick-off was given for a week sporting fraternization of an international group of 500 injured, sick and recovered soldiers and veterans from 17 countries.

The nearly 5000 spectators in the mobile theater, which was specially built for this occasion, were treated, among other things, to performances by the Royal Military Chapel ‘Johan Willem Friso’, Anneke van Giersbergen, a drum band of the navy, police and reservists, DI-RECT and the British band Kaiser Chiefs. The Avantgarde dance group acted during the various performances.

The twelve-year-old Zoey, daughter of participant Joyce van den Waardenburg, carried out the Invictus poem of the British poet William Ernest Henley.

Naturally, during the opening ceremony there was a lot of room for the story of Invictus participants and their family members. They where in the centre during the ceremony, and in the speeches of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Duke of Sussex, the patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

A symbolic lifeline, similar to the heart rate on a monitor in the hospital, played an important role in the opening show. In the life of the Invictus participants, in particular, sports, and the beneficial effect thereof, stands for that lifeline. After a conversation by Hans Ploegmakers and Renee Krist about the loss of loved ones followed a moment of silence involving missing colleagues. A yellow, empty chair in the stadium symbolized the absence of those who should never be forgotten.

Naturally there was special attention to the participants from Ukraine. The Duke of Sussex emphasized in his speech that the participating countries are as one man behind the Ukrainians. They have to do with a horrible situation, but traveled to The Hague to tell the world their story. The Ukrainian flag was the first entering the stadium.

Many dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. Among them HER Royal Highness Princess Margriet der Nederlanden. She is honorary president of the committee of recommendation of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020.

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