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Around 5,000 people are expected to gather at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the evening of 10 September for the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, the international sports event for ‘wounded warriors’ launched by Prince Harry.
The opening ceremony will include an exclusive performance of the official anthem, penned by Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Other highlights of the ceremony line-up are a flypast by the Red Arrows and displays by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Queen’s Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment). They will be joined by bands from the Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force.
The crowd can also look forward to a competitors’ parade featuring all 400+ wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (serving personnel and veterans) from 14 nations, who will go on to compete in 4 days of sport from 11 to 14 September.
One of those hard in training and hoping to be selected for the British Armed Forces team is Lance Corporal John-James Chalmers of 42 Commando Royal Marines.
Lance Corporal Chalmers suffered severe injuries in an improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan in 2011. The 26-year-old from Edinburgh hopes to compete in athletics and cycling at the Invictus Games.
Lance Corporal Chalmers said:
The Invictus Games have given a whole international community of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women something to strive for. For us it’s about much more than 4 days of sport. But come September we’ll be ready to show our Invictus spirit in the sporting arena.
That all starts with the opening ceremony and we hope the public will be there to give us their support. It promises to be quite a show and will set the tone for what’s to come.
The opening ceremony will also be shown live on the BBC, the official broadcaster of the Invictus Games. Tickets for the opening ceremony cost £12.85 and tickets to the Games themselves cost £12.85 per person, per session, and are on sale at www.invictusgames.org.
The Invictus Games are being organised with the support and backing of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence.
They will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding of and respect for those who serve their country. The Games will feature 9 adaptive sports at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
Chris Martin is the latest celebrity to get behind the Invictus Games, with the likes of Daniel Craig, Joss Stone, Tom Hardy, Joanna Lumley, will.i.am, Rod Stewart, Stephen Fry, Bear Grylls, Bruce Forsyth, Example, Ricky Hatton, Lizzy Yarnold, Louis Smith, Iwan Thomas and Omid Djalili all pledging their support.