Invictus Games Sydney 2018 presented by Jaguar Land Rover has been no stranger to royal visits this week, but Friday morning saw a different type of royal descend upon Sydney Olympic Park – football royalty David Beckham.
As an official ambassador for the Invictus Games 2018, David Beckham and sons Romeo and Cruz showed off their Invictus Games spirit while meeting competitors and families at Invictus Games House, then went on to spectate and present medals at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre.
While many competitors were honoured to meet the famed football star, it was he that felt privileged to take part in the celebrations.
“Invictus Games, it’s such a special thing that’s been created for so many special people and to be ambassador for this one in Sydney is something I’m very proud of,” Beckham said.
“I’ve obviously been to Afghanistan to visit a lot of the guys there, and I’ve always been a supporter of the Armed Forces, so to be here and see the guys perform, is pretty special.”
Beckham also commented that the power of Invictus Games and the power of sport in changing lives was clearly evident on the track and field, as well as in the spectator stands today.
“I know how sport can change people’s lives, I know how sport has a real power to improve people’s lives in many different ways.
“It’s been such an emotional week for everyone involved. 500 competitors, over 1000 family members is such a special thing.
“These people have lived through difficult situations, and to see them perform in front of such an amazing crowd is really incredible.”
“The power of sport really shines through. Life changing experiences, it’s what it’s all about.”
Beckham, who played professional football across the world for 22 years, said he was humbled when multiple competitors asked him for advice.
“I’m like really, you need advice? All these people have done things we all admire. You don’t need words from me, just enjoy it and have fun,” Beckham said.
“They’ve made us proud for so many years, and now they’re doing it again on such an incredible stage. To see that, it’s special.”
By Sascha Ryner; interview by Brett Frawley
Invictus Games Sydney 2018