In pictures: Invictus Games opens at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The first UK sports competition for wounded soldiers, the Invictus Games, kicked off with an opening ceremony yesterday (10 September), on the South Lawn of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


The event, which was broadcast live on BBC’s The One Show and attended by 6,500 people, began with a fly-past from the Red Arrows and a rendition of the national anthem by the Band of Irish Guards, the Central Band of the RAF and the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Collingwood.

Singer Laura Wright took to the stage, before actor Idris Elba recited Invictus, a poem by William Ernest Henley that was an inspiration for the Games. The 416 athletes taking part in the nine sports over the coming four days then entered the stadium in a parade.

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Prince Harry, who heads the organising committee of the Games for ‘wounded warriors’, onstage via video link.

He said on the night: "You can be sure that everyone who takes to the track, pool or field of play will be giving it their all. I have no doubt that lives will be changed this weekend.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome the thirteen nations to London and to say how delighted I am that many of you are joined by your families, recognising the vital party they play in your recovery."

The Tri-Service Male Singers, Urban Voices Choir and Service Bands closed the ceremony with a performance of the Invictus Anthem, penned by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Live entertainment company AEG Live produced the event.

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