Team Belgium bring home 12 medals from Invictus Games
Team Belgium have won 12 medals at the 2023 Invictus Games, an international sporting event for injured and ill soldiers, held this year in Düsseldorf, Germany.
More than 500 athletes from 21 countries competed in various adapted disciplines, including athletics, swimming, wheelchair basketball, archery and cycling, from 9 to 16 September. Thirteen Belgian athletes took part, winning four gold medals, five silver and three bronze, the ministry of Defence reported on Saturday.
Former Flight Operations Officer Stefan Wolput, who spent more than 30 years working for the Belgian air force, won six medals at the 2023 games: two gold and four silver in track, field and cycling.
“The Invictus Games mean everything to me,” he said. “In 2012, due to paralysis in my hip, my dreams and my ambitions seemed gone. I was at my lowest point. But in 2014, I saw the Invictus Games on television. Sitting there, I said to myself: if they can do it, so can I.”
Team Belgium won gold in athletics and cycling, silver in athletics and cycling, and bronze in athletics, indoor rowing and cycling.
"I saw the Invictus Games on television. Sitting there, I said to myself: if they can do it, so can I"
“When you come to the Invictus Games, you don’t just visit a sporting event with exciting competitions, international teams and the odd nail-biting final match, though that too is on offer,” German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the closing ceremony. “The emotion that comes over you the very moment you enter this hall is more than that: it is one of a tremendously strong feeling of community and solidarity.”
The Invictus Games were established by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in 2014. The next games will take place from 6 to 17 February 2025 in Vancouver and Whistler in Canada and will be the first time the event has featured winter sports.
Team Belgium at the opening of the 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf © PHOTO ODD ANDERSEN / AFP