Invictus Games: Foo Fighters headline spectacular five-hour closing ceremony
10:35 15 September 2014
A star-studded line-up of musicians and comedians closed the first ever Invictus Games at a spectacular ceremony last night.
American rockers the Foo Fighters topped the bill at the five-hour marathon event, performing classic tracks in front of a sell-out crowd of 26,000 people following the likes of Ellie Goulding, the Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt and Rizzle Kicks.
Also soaking up the applause were competitors from each of the 13 national teams that took part in the four-day sporting tournament who appeared on stage at intervals throughout the evening.
Team Great Britain, who claimed the biggest gold-medal tally at the Games, appeared last after an introduction from Prince Harry, who has been the driving force behind the tournament.
Addressing the crowd in a rousing speech, team captain double-amputee Dave Henson, said: “If it wasn’t for you we would be at home in pieces, but instead we’re here kicking the arse out of life.”
Wheelchair racing and hand cycling star Joe Townsend, of Team Great Britain, was awarded the exceptional performance award after claiming four gold medals on the athletics track.
Denmark’s Maurice Manuel took home the unconquerable soul award for his commitment to the Games, captaining and coaching his county’s wheelchair basketball team to bronze.
Speaking before introducing the headline act, Prince Harry delivered a message from HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip which offered “heartfelt congratulations” to all those involved.
“As I have followed the competition over the past four days, I have been deeply moved by your courage, determination and talent,” the message said.
“All of you have used the power of sport to enhance your own recovery and to raise wider awareness of the enormous challenges faced by wounded veterans.
“The success of these Games can be measured not by medals won, but by the renewed sense of purpose and confidence in your abilities that you have gained.”
Following on in his own words, the serving captain said the Games had “shone a spotlight on the ‘unconquerable’ character of servicemen and women and their families – their invictus spirit”.
For more on the Invictus Games and other news from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, click on our Parklife section.