Sydney hands over to The Hague

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27: The crowd shine phone torchlights during a performance by Birds of Tokyo the 2018 Invictus Games Closing Ceremony at Qudos Bank Arena on October 27, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for The Invictus Games Federation)

After a successful week full of sports and camaraderie, the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 presented by Jaguar Land Rover, has come to an end. During the Closing Ceremony, the Invictus Games Flag was symbolically handed over to Marc van de Kuilen, the Dutch team captain. Upon his return to the Netherlands on 29 October, Marc will present the flag to the organising committee of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 which will take place from 9 to 16 May 2020.

With a performance by The Kingdom Choir, best known for their performance during the wedding of Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex; and featuring the traditional ‘Parade of Nations’, the Closing Ceremony heralded the end of a show-stopping Games down under. The competitors and their friends and family were entertained by a line-up of both local and international artists, including Aloe Blacc and Birds of Tokyo.

HRH the Duke of Sussex, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, talked about the secret of the Games: “The secret of these Invictus Games is not really about the amazing medical science that has saved the lives of our competitors and helped many of them to walk, swim, or move again. The secret to the success of these Games has been accepting that mental health is the real key to recovery. Our competitors have helped turn the issue of mental health from a sad story to an inspiring one. They want to live, rather than just be alive”.

The Hague 2020
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Invictus Games will now take place every two years and that the event will be held in the Netherlands in 2020. The Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague will be the main hub of competition and the 9 sports will be archery, athletics, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby.

In 2020, it will be 75 years since the liberation of the Netherlands and the end of the Second World War. Therefore, the Invictus Games will form part of the commemorations of 75 years of freedom in the Netherlands and will be a fitting tribute to the veterans who fell ill or were physically or mentally injured during their service.

Flag handover
True to tradition, the end of the Closing Ceremony paid tribute to the next edition of the Games. The Invictus Games Flag, carried by Dominic Reid OBE, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation, was handed over to Marc van de Kuilen, wheelchair basketball player and captain for the Dutch Invictus Games Sydney 2018 team. With this gesture, the Invictus Games were symbolically handed over to the Netherlands.

Gen (ret) Mart de Kruif, Chairman of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 said: “The Invictus Games 2018 in Sydney were impressive and moving. Each competitor shows that anyone can be Invictus, if he or she receives support from their families and our society. In 2020 we will continue this story in The Hague, with lots of help from everybody to not only organize a fantastic event, but also to show the strength of the Invictus spirit!”

The organising committee of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 is an independent foundation that cooperates closely with “founding partners” such as the Ministry of Defense, the vfonds, and the Municipality of The Hague.

© Photo credit: Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

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