The word ‘Invictus’ is Latin for ‘unconquered’ and embodies the fighting spirit of our wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women. They have been tested and challenged, but they have not been overcome. They have proven that by embracing each other and the support of family and friends, they can reclaim their future. They are Invictus.
Most of us will never know the horrors of combat. Horrors so great that many servicemen and women suffer life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible, while serving their countries, while serving us. How do these men and women find the motivation to move on and not be defined by their injuries? How can we challenge perceptions and send a positive message about life beyond disability to an international audience? Prince Harry not only asked but answered these questions.
On a trip to the Warrior Games in the United States in 2013, Prince Harry saw the positive impact sport could have on the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women. He vowed to take the idea and launch a similar event in the UK. The Invictus Games Foundation was established and in 2014 London hosted the inaugural Invictus Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with more than 400 competitors from 13 nations.
Led by an experienced and deeply passionate board of trustees, the Foundation supports the delivery of future Invictus Games, manages the process of selecting future Games hosts and promotes the importance of sport and physical activity in the rehabilitation journey of wounded, injured and ill service members and veterans.
The second Invictus Games took place in May 2016 in Orlando, Florida, and built on the excitement of the London Games with more than 500 competitors from 15 nations. The Invictus Games will continue in 2017 in Toronto from 23 to 30 September before heading ‘down under’ to Australia.
The Sydney Games will attract more than 500 competitors from 18 nations to compete in 11 adaptive sports and will recognise and thank families and friends for their role and the challenges they share in supporting our wounded warriors. Sydney will host around 1000 family and friends who’ll be in the stands cheering.
Never stop fighting and do everything you can to lift up everyone around you.Prince Harry
Out of the night that covers me,Invictus, by
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley