It is scenes like these that make the INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 presented by Boeing so unique and worth experiencing. In the IT8 women’s 100m wheelchair race, the medals were long gone when an incredible moment brought the spectators to their feet.
The women’s 100m final in the IT8 competition at the INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 presented by Boeing: The two Australian and two American competitors sprint towards the finish in their racing wheelchairs. Far behind, the Jordanian participant Rola slowly follows. You can see that she lacks strength. Should she give up?
But then suddenly, the Brit Clare Gibson brakes in the lane next to her. From then on she accompanies Rola, always cheering her on, motivating her to keep going, never leaving her side. An example that is infectious. Team members run behind, spectators, volunteers and media cheer them on. It’s getting loud in the stands. All the other participants have long since finished the race, but that’s not important.
The spectators continue to cheer frenetically and wave the Jordanian athlete and her escort towards the finish line. Everyone wants Rola to achieve her goal. And she does it – together with Clare! The standing ovation continues. “That’s the message of the Invictus Games, it shows what these Games mean,” shouts the stadium announcer. Minutes of long applause follow. Completely exhausted, but overjoyed, Rola is happy with her own personal victory.
“I saw Rola for the first time in the tent before the 100m race,” explains Clare. The Brit already had her golden moment two-and-a-half hours earlier, winning the IT8 1500m race. “Rola told me that she had never ridden in a racing wheelchair before and is therefore very excited. I then promised her: I’ll take care of you!”
Said, done and, at the same time, it gave everyone watching goosebumps – a true Invictus Moment.
Author: Monika Hartjes
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