This last weekend I was lucky enough to head down to London to watch the Invictus Games closing ceremony. Over the week injured war heroes competed in a variety of events from Wheelchair Rugby to Indoor Rowing. Now sadly I couldn’t make it down to any of the sporting events but I did catch some of it on TV and I was in awe of the amazing talent these people showed, now I don’t know anything about their lives but just the sheer determination and grit they had was enough to make me want to hit the gym. The fact that they had served for their countries, been injured and then come out on top was so inspirational and I really felt the Invictus Games captured that.
On Sunday the games came to a close and all of the competitors and the general public got to enjoy an amazing line up of artists throughout the sunny(ish) afternoon. Dance troop and Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity kicked it off with a great performance consisting of backflips, slick moves and cute men, (safe to say I enjoyed it.) Next up was a short set from Bryan Adams, which for my mum and dad was a great treat, it was only announced that he would be performing a couple of days before the event so it was a pleasant surprise to be singing a long to a couple of his iconic songs. I loved the fact that the line-up really did have something for everyone not many events can truly say that.
For the next few hours we were serenaded by the likes of Ryan Adams, The Vamps and the Military Wives Choir which was a nice touch considering the occasion. James Blunt also joined the bill dedicating his hit “You’re Beautiful” to Prince Harry, if you don’t follow him on Twitter and have a sense of humour like mine (sarcastic) go and do it! He is hilariously witty (if not a bit rude). He also decided to dive into the crowd and get felt up by some very pleased women in the front few rows, was definitely funny to watch from afar.
Another surprise came in the form of Frank Turner, he only played a couple of songs but as a last minute addition to the line up he added a nice rock ‘n’ roll feel before the real rock gods hit the stage later on. The beautiful Ellie Goulding hit the stage just as the sun was setting and it was a great site to see the Olympic stadium standing behind us while 24’000 fans watched her strut her stuff in some paint splattered trousers and a sports top. She looked amazing and if you follow her Instagram account you’ll see why she looks so fab…countless pictures of Yoga and hitting the gym (I’m typing this whilst eating cake.) The Kaiser Chiefs then got the the crowd reared up with their rock anthems ‘Ruby’ and ‘Oh My God’ with Ricky Wilson rocking out on his tambourine and showing us that he fancied himself as an athlete as he ran the length of the stage… Twice!
In between the performers the crowd got to see the real heroes of the night in the form of all the athletes from the nations competing. Seeing the competitors from countries such as Afghanistan and Denmark really hit home that war is universal, injuries happen in every battle and these soldiers are the people we should be idolising not celebrities on the front pages of magazines. The Invictus Games was an occasion for them and you could see on their faces that they were lapping up the roar from that came from the crowd as they were introduced on stage. The british athlete Captain David Henson summed up their courage nicely saying on behalf of all the competitors that they were “kicking the arse out of life.” Amen to that!
After a heartwarming and inspiring speech from the lovely (and rather attractive) Prince Harry which included a testimony from his Grandma (the queen if you didn’t guess.) His efforts saw the games go from an idea to an actual event and although I’m not a royalist it was great to see a part of the royal family give something to people who truly deserve it… After his speech the Foo Fighters finally hit the stage. Now I haven’t mentioned this yet but I am a HUGE Foo Fighters fan, I think Dave Grohl is a music genius and the history of the foo’s makes me like them even more so when I saw they were headlining this event I was practically on the train to London already. Compared to how long they usually play it was a rather short set but needless to say they pushed the boundaries and sounded as awesome as ever. They’d mixed up a couple of their classic songs which got me very excited for their new album Sonic Highways which comes out later this year. I think we’ll be hearing something a little different from this album but I for one cannot wait to listen to it.
The night was wrapped up with some rather apt songs in the form of ‘My Hero’ and ‘Best of You’ which in an environment with so many heroes and inspirational people really resonated around the arena, I was singing (well screaming) my heart out surrounded by true heroes, a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget.