Invictus Games 2023 Düsseldorf - mascot Buddy at the Opening Ceremony
The newest Invictus
family member: Buddy

The mascot is loved by young and old alike.

In the midst of the crowd at the INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 presented by Boeing, he is the one who touches the hearts of the most hard-nosed people with his fluffy fur: Buddy.

After Vimy, the Labrador Retriever from Toronto and Cobber, the Australian Cattle Dog from Sydney, the Invictus family has obtained another new member in the form of Buddy, the German Hovawart. The population of Düsseldorf helped name him. With his long wavy blond hair and his big wide eyes, the guard and herding dog leaves a lasting impression.

Invictus mascot Buddy at the Team Arrival UK

With Buddy’s bright eyes, the self-confident and always good-humoured Hovawart enchants young and old. He is destined to support the national and international members of his family, to motivate and relax them.

Buddy does not only identify with the games by his Invictus Games sports dress. His hanging ear tips and his wagging tail, dipped in the colours black and yellow, make him a true member of the Invictus family.

His warm-heartedness elicits a broad grin, a short joyful outcry, a big hug from every member of the Invictus family. His fellow dogs also sniff at him with curiosity and accept him as a member of the family. Buddy brings everyone together.

As soon as Buddy is around, the inner child is reawakened. In this moment of unconditional warm-heartedness, even comrades and officers forget their duties.

With Buddy, the Family & Friends project team of the host city Düsseldorf has created an appealing figure for the Rhenish metropolis that will persist, just as the 1972 Munich Olympic mascot Waldi did.

The hearts of an entire team beat within the fluffy and hearty looking Hovawart. “Buddy – that is US!” says Alexandra Gerlach-Prestele, who is fighting to hold back tears of joy. “When I see how Buddy works, what Buddy triggers in people, it is a feeling of deepest inner happiness that I get to feel every time. I am so grateful for these experiences!”

Not only working with Buddy, but also working on Buddy, accompanying him from the first drawing to his first steps, triggers many emotions. Like the development of a child, Buddy has grown into an independent and joyful member of a unique family – the Invictus family.

After two years of Buddy’s development, he has finally made his grand appearances on the stages and trails of the INVICTUS GAMES 2023. Joyfully panting, a loyal companion and motivator.

Author: Ann-Christin Mack

Invictus mascot Buddy at wheelchair rugby