The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in nine sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing. Named after Invictus, Latin for "unconquered" or "undefeated", the event was inspired by the Warrior Games, a similar event held in the United States.
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Patron||HRH The Duke of Sussex|
The first Invictus Games took place in September 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom.The 2014 opening ceremony was attended by Prince Harry, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. The event also included a recorded message from the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
The second games opened on 8 May 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida, United States. The opening ceremony was attended by Prince Harry, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, former U.S. President George W. Bush and many other dignitaries. U.S. President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II helped make a promotional video for the 2016 event.
The third games were held in September 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where Prince Harry made one of his first high-profile public appearances with Meghan Markle, who he later married. The 2018 games were held in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and attended by both Prince Harry and his new wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The 2020 games are scheduled to be held in The Hague, Netherlands in May.
The Games were launched on 6 March 2014 by Prince Harry at London's Copper Box arena, used as a venue during the 2012 Olympics. Having seen a British team competing at the US Warrior Games held in Colorado in 2013, the Prince wished to bring the concept of a similar international sporting event to the United Kingdom. With the backing of Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Ministry of Defence, the event was put together over ten months. £1m of funding for the project was provided by the Royal Foundation, a charity established by Prince Harry along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with an equal amount being pledged by Chancellor George Osborne from Treasury funds generated by fines imposed on banks as a result of the Libor scandal. The Games were also sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover. Speaking at the launch, the Prince said that the Games would "demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability". He also said that their long-term objective was to ensure that injured troops are not forgotten as Britain's involvement with the War in Afghanistan comes to an end.
|Year||City||Country||Venue||Nations participating||Opening ceremony||Closing ceremony|
|2014||London||United Kingdom||Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park||14||10 September||14 September|
|2015||No games held in 2015 to allow time for the 2016 host, Orlando, to plan and raise funds.|
|2016||Orlando||United States||ESPN Wide World of Sports||15||8 May||12 May|
|2017||Toronto||Canada||Air Canada Centre||17||23 September||30 September|
|2018||Sydney||Australia||Sydney Olympic Park||18||20 October||27 October|
|2019||No games held in 2019.|
|2020||The Hague||The Netherlands||TBA||19||9 May||16 May|
Invictus Games FoundationEdit
The Invictus Games Foundation is the owner of the brand and the selector of future Host Cities. It exists to ensure that the Invictus Games continue to adhere to the high standards that have been set. It is responsible for sport & competition management, rules & categorisations and branding. The Foundation is also the final arbiter on the inclusion of additional sports and Participating Nations.
The Foundation has presided over the transition from a one-off inspiring Games to a global movement allowing the ‘Invictus Spirit’ to positively influence all levels of society.
People around the world have drawn inspiration from the competitors and their stories of resilience and determination.
The bidding process for future games started in November 2014.
The people who govern the foundation are:
- David Henson (British Team Captain of the 2014 Invictus Games)
- Debbie Jevans (formerly Director of Sport for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; Organising committee member Invictus Games 2014)
- Edward Lane Fox (former Private Secretary of Prince Harry)
- Guy Monson (Trustee, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry)
- Paddy Nicoll (Trustee, HALO Trust; formerly Army, Row2Recovery and Invictus Games 2014).
- Mary Reilly (also on the Board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, organising committee member of Invictus Games 2014)
- Chief Executive: Dominic Reid (was responsible for the operational delivery of the Invictus Games London 2014)
- Operations Director: Richard Smith CBE
2014 Invictus GamesEdit
The first Invictus Games were held on 10–14 September 2014. Around 300 competitors from 13 countries which have fought alongside the United Kingdom in recent military campaigns participated. Competitive events were held at many of the venues used during the 2012 Olympics, including the Copper Box and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre. The Games were broadcast by the BBC.
14 countries were invited to the 2014 games, 8 from Europe, 2 from Asia, 2 from North America and 2 from Oceania. No countries from Africa were invited. There were teams from all the invited countries, except Iraq, competing in the games.
The closing concert was broadcast on BBC Two hosted by Clare Balding and Greg James. The concert was hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Fearne Cotton, with live performances from Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, Rizzle Kicks, Ryan Adams and Ellie Goulding.
2016 Invictus GamesEdit
On 14 July 2015, Prince Harry, Patron of Invictus Games Foundation, announced the 2016 Invictus Games would take place from 8–12 May 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
In order to bring Invictus Games to the USA, Military Adaptive Sports Inc. (MASI) was created, and worked to build on the success of the Invictus Games 2014 held in London.
Ken Fisher served as Chairman and CEO for Invictus Games Orlando 2016.
All 14 countries from the 2014 Games were invited back, while Jordan was the only new invitee.
2017 Invictus GamesEdit
Toronto hosted the 2017 Invictus Games in September 2017 during Canada's sesquicentennial. Building from hosting the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2015, Toronto's organizers planned to feature more competitors, nations and sports—such as ice events—than previously.
Unlike prior games which were hosted at a single site, multiple venues around the Greater Toronto Area hosted the 12 sporting events and opening and closing ceremonies. The venues were Air Canada Centre that hosted the opening and closing ceremony. Fort York National Historic Site hosted the archery. Nathan Phillips Square for wheelchair tennis; Ryerson University's Mattamy Athletic Centre hosted the indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby; St. George's Golf and Country Club hosted the golf; The Distillery District hosted the Jaguar Land Rover driving challenge; High Park to host cycling; Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre to host swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball; and York Lions Stadium hosted the athletics.
Michael Burns was the CEO for 2017 Games and the official mascot for the Games was Vimy, a Labrador.
All 15 countries from the 2016 Games were invited back, with new invitations going to Romania and Ukraine.
2018 Invictus GamesEdit
Bids to host the 2018 Invictus Games closed in December 2015. The Gold Coast in Australia announced its intention to bid, using facilities built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In November 2016, Sydney, Australia, was announced as the host city.
All 17 countries from the 2017 Games were invited back, with an invitation extended to Poland.
2020 Invictus GamesEdit
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