After five days of intense competition at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, it was wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball that secured the last of the gold medals for the UK team of wounded, sick and injured personnel and veterans, bringing their overall medal tally to 131.
UK team medals:
Gold – 49
Silver – 46
Bronze – 36
The games came to a climatic finish on Thursday 12 May at the closing ceremony where athletes from all 14 competing nations took to the main stage to receive a commemorative medallion from Prince Harry for participating in the 2016 event.
Take a look at our 2016 Invictus Games photo gallery:
The athletes weren’t the only stars of the show though - rapturous applause greeted the families and friends of the athletes as they entered the Champions Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
Prince Harry, founder of the Invictus Games, rounded off the evening by saying:
“The competition has been fierce with performances of the highest international standard across a number of events. What has inspired me is the courage to make it to the start line, to make it the field or to dive into the pool, motivated by the goal of giving your all – medal or no medal. You showed your families, your friends and yourselves just how far you’ve come, regardless of the result.”
In a competition that was about participation over winning, there were frequent displays of comradeship and gratitude: The UK team was praised for demonstrating the Invictus spirit by loaning eight of their wheelchairs to athletes from other countries so they could take part in wheelchair basketball matches, while American soldier Sgt Elizabeth Marks handed her gold medal back to Prince Harry, asking him to donate it to the staff of Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire who previously saved her life.
The team behind the team
The Royal British Legion supported the family and friends of the UK team – the ‘team behind the team’ – to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that they make to the recovery of wounded, injured or sick Service personnel and veterans.
The Legion arranged travel, accommodation and tickets to make sure all the UK athletes could enjoy the support of their loved ones. We also provided support and pastoral care in the run up to the games and in Orlando during the event.
Supporting the Invictus Games is just part of the Legion's programme of recovery activities for wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans which includes the Battle Back Centre and Recovery & Wellbeing through the Arts.