21 September 2023 – Düsseldorf

A visit to the Invictus Games

The INVICTUS GAMES in Düsseldorf came to an end on 16 September with a fascinating Closing Ceremony. More than 500 athletes from 21 nations took part in 208 competitions. The MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA and the adjacent Arena-Sportpark served as the venue. Numerous events of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games, including the Opening Ceremony, will take place there in July 2025.

A symbol for living inclusion and diversity

The INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 took place under the motto "A HOME FOR RESPECT." from 09 - 16 September 2023. For one week, the focus was on soldiers who have suffered injuries during their deployment and service or permanent impairments due to conditions affecting their body and soul. The program included 10 sports: archery, weightlifting, athletics, cycling, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby, rowing, swimming, sitting volleyball, table tennis. One of the essential goals of this international sports competition was to give active and former servicemen and women a greater recognition and awareness in society and to support their path in rehabilitation.

©Sascha Schuermann / Getty Images

During the Closing Ceremony, Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier also praised the spirit of the Games: "What a special atmosphere and what a special moment I am able to experience here together with you," he said. The closing ceremony was embedded in a musical performance by superstar Rita Ora, the opening ceremony had already been accompanied by rapper Macklemore.

More impressions of the event can be found on the official homepage and in the competition recordings.

Experiencing MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA in action

In order to gather impressions and experiences for the world's largest multi-sport event in 2025, a delegation of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games gGmbH also visited the so-called "Invictus Games Park" during the INVICTUS GAMES. After a tour of the event site, the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 team visited the arena to see for themselves how the individual sports facilities were set up and operated. "The set-up of the arena was very well planned," says Viola Torliene, Manager Sports at Rhine-Ruhr 2025, where she is responsible for volleyball, which will take place in the MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA. "It was a very good opportunity to see the interior of the arena in action with several playing fields and to get further inputs by myself." 

The Rhine-Ruhr 2025 team also visited the adjacent Rheinbad, which will serve as a training facility in two years' time. In addition, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and the volunteer area were visited. Especially at the wheelchair basketball semi-final, the atmosphere among the spectators was absolutely outstanding.