In a show like Toronto has never seen, the opening of the 2017 Invictus Games filled the Air Canada Centre. Before the ceremony even began, Luca “lazy legs” got the crowd to dance as a warm up to the ceremony with everyone participating.
Prince Harry, who was sat beside Melania Trump and Governor General Johnston, watched intently as the show was broadcast across the globe.
Starting off with a welcome to the 550 competitors, family, friends and those just taking it all in was followed by the Parade of Nations where the proud countries marched to a hero’s welcome from the crowd.
Canada’s national anthem was played before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau charmed the spectators with this speech. The Prime Minister listed facts and then said, “What those numbers don’t cover are the stories of service. He went on to add that the Games “bring together men and women who no matter what serve their country with passion and integrity.”
A Tattoo made of Mass Pipes and Drums rocked the stadium before Comedian and Celebrity Ambassador of the Games, Mike Myers stepped up on stage. Myers told the audience, “Never give in, never give up, never, never, never.”
The Tenors soothed the audience with their smooth melodies, and Alessia Cara rocked on with her relatable teen anthems.
CEO of Invictus, Michael Burns was next to speak to the crowd before Laura Wright helped out with the raising of the Invictus Flag.
More speeches from Rick Hansen and Captain (Retired) Trevor Greene took place, along with singer Sarah McLachlan. Greene, who survived an axe to the head and was not expected to survive, had many in the audience fighting back tears as he explained that he knew he had to “fight like a soldier.” He told them, “I wager none of us expected to be here, to be this broken.”
The moment most of the crowd was waiting for took place when Prince Harry stepped out, the crowd welcomed him and he in return thanked everyone for their support of the games and the wounded veterans, now turned athletes.
Harry said, “Invictus is about the example to the world, injured or not, provide service to their country.”
He praised Canada saying, “As Canada celebrates their 150th anniversary, Toronto is going to put on Games that draw the attention of the world.”
The Prince added that the soldiers are “role models any parent would want their children to look up to” and told them that they are all winners.
“You are proving anything is possible, you are Invictus,” Prince Harry said.
In true style, La Bottine Souriante pumped up the crowds before everyone departed into the night ready for the best Invictus Games yet.