Is Prince Harry's gloss shiny enough to sustain the momentum of the Games' continuation and growth? Or will they struggle once commercial realities come into play and the novelty fades away?
The Invictus Games, which came to a close on Sunday evening, with a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in front of a sell-out crowd of 26,000 people, were an undeniable success. The Games saw over 400 injured military personnel and veterans taking part across nine disciplines.
Teams travelled from 13 countries including the US, Afghanistan, New Zealand and across Europe to take part in the Paralympics-style championships.
The chief architect of this spectacle of sport was, of course, Prince Harry, who celebrated his 30th birthday at the closing ceremony. Throughout the competition, Harry demonstrated the charisma that made an event so close to his heart possible.
Harry had a vision for the Games: he wanted to help those who'd been injured and had served their countries in war. Enthused by the success of the Olympics and the Warrior Games in the US, Harry turned to some of those behind London 2012 for help. The results speak for themselves. The Invictus Games are clearly an event that everyone who was involved in organising can be proud of.
Any new event, the Invictus Games being one, typically struggles in its first year. Challenges range from difficulties in securing funding or sponsorship to problems finding participants and getting the media interested in talking about the event. It can often take at least a year or two for an event to find its feet and become successful in one or all of these areas.
Harry's involvement and influence (and the involvement of the great and the good around him) clearly helped the Invictus Games overcome these traditional hurdles - and rightly so.
How long this can be sustained for, though, remains to be seen. I hope the Games become a regular feature and I hope that they grow. It will be interesting to see whether Harry's involvement continues to pull in the favours, access and sponsors over time.
It seems likely that it will. But if it doesn't, let's hope that the benefit so clearly gained by those competing and involved is enough to secure the future of the Games and to keep them growing.
Maybe these Games, and their noble objectives, can serve to benefit all events with similar aims for difference causes. At the very least, they show local authorities and sponsors what's possible in such a short space of time when people get behind an idea and find ways around bureaucracy and red tape.
In my experience of organising events of a similar scale, the hardest part is either to convince people to part with cash or grant permission for the event to go ahead. Let's hope Harry's vision can help many more events with both.Suggest a correction