THE fourth Invictus Games draws to a close tonight, ending a week of sporting and personal victories for more than 500 competitors from 18 nations across the world.
The Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park will tonight host the closing ceremony as the games are passed to The Hague in the Netherlands—the host city of Invictus Games 2020.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester congratulated all competitors for defying personal obstacles to display unwavering perseverance, spirit and courage through the last week of competition.
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“On behalf of the Australian Government, I congratulate all competitors for their outstanding efforts at Invictus Games Sydney 2018”, Mr Chester said.
“Over the past week, Sydney has done a great job hosting more than 500 competitors, 1000 family and friends, and many spectators for the Games.
“The Games recognised our current serving members, veterans and their families, as well as the wider veteran community for their important role in supporting our military personnel.
“Competitors from Team Australia overcame incredible adversity during the competition this week, like former Australian Army Combat Engineer, Michael Lyddiard, who despite an injury, competed in several athletics events to ensure there were enough entrants for other competitors to medal.
“Former Army Cargo Specialist Jason McNulty was presented a Governor-General’s medallion by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), for presenting his teammate with the silver medal he won in the criterium, due to a mechanical fault which caused his teammate to lose time.
“These are two great examples of competitors embodying the unconquerable spirit of the Invictus Games.”
Mr Chester said Defence also provided ceremonial, security and general support to the event under Joint Task Force 646.
“The Joint Task Force did a great job behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the Games and as part of the wider Australian Government support to Invictus.
“The soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen were proud to be involved with the competitors from around the world.”
Australian Team Co-Captain Nicole Bradley paid tribute to her team mates, acknowledging the personal sacrifices each of them made to compete in the Games.
“I feel so privileged to have led such an amazing and inspirational team of Australian athletes,” Nicole said.
“While some took home medals, each and every competitor deserves gold for overcoming their personal challenges to make the Australian Invictus Games team.
“Everyone put their heart and soul into every event – I feel humbled to call them my team mates.”
The Adaptive Sports Program, including the Invictus Games, is one way the Australian Defence Force (ADF) supports its wounded, injured and ill members, and this experience gives them renewed confidence to face future challenges in their rehabilitation.
For more information about the Games visit www.invictusgames2018.org