International swimming champion Ian Thorpe OAM today called on Australians to buy a ticket and be in the stands to support our wounded warriors at Invictus Games Sydney 2018, presented by Jaguar Land Rover.
Tickets go on sale to the public today for Invictus Games Sydney 2018. The Games will showcase the healing power of sport as 500 competitors from 18 nations contest 11 sports across eight days of fierce competition from 20 to 27 October.
”It’s hard to put in to words how much having the community – on your home turf – cheering for you can push you to achieve your best in competition,” said Thorpe.
“But it’s not all about crossing the finish line first; these Games challenge perceptions and change lives, and the best way people can get involved and show their support is to be there,” he said.
Thorpe was speaking at the official launch of ticket sales at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, located on the road cycling course for the Games. He was joined by Corporal Sonya Newman and Jeff Wright who were members of the 2017 Australian Invictus Games Team, Chief Delivery Officer of Invictus Games Sydney 2018, Michael Hartung, and the Hon David Elliott MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs.
Thorpe said the Games were an opportunity for Australia to celebrate the unconquerable spirit of our wounded, injured and ill former and currently serving defence personnel and to recognise the families and friends who support them.
Tickets start from just $20 and people can secure their place in the stands by heading to invictusgames2018.org to plan their visit to the Games.
The Games highlight the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding of those who serve their country. The Games also celebrate the crucial role played by family and friends in the recovery process.
Newman, an Australian Army soldier of the 1st Combat Services Support Battalion in Darwin, had her right leg amputated above the knee after contracting a staph infection. Newman was selected to compete in swimming, wheelchair basketball and indoor rowing at Invictus Games Toronto 2017 and believes it has allowed her to overcome many challenges following injury.
“It has been difficult, especially with two young kids, but this whole journey as part of the Invictus Games has helped me so much,” she said. “It was so important having Invictus Games Toronto 2017 as a goal. It provided me with the motivation I needed.
“I started swimming again, learnt to walk and my entire outlook has since changed,” said Newman. “I now see what I can achieve in life and not what I can’t.”
Newman says the Games experience will be made even more memorable for those competing if the stands are full of supporters.
“Being involved in last year’s Invictus Games truly brought to life the healing power of sport – not only for me, but for every single person competing in the Games.
“As Australians, we all share a love of sport,” said Newman. “I encourage people in the community to get involved and show their support by buying a ticket to come and cheer on our team at this year’s Sydney Games.”
The Hon. Minister Elliott MP says New South Wales knows how to put on a welcome and this event will be no exception.
“New South Wales knows how to put on a show and the Invictus Games will truly be a highlight of 2018,” said the Minister. “The Government is proud to welcome these Games during the Centenary of Anzac as we commemorate our service men and women.
“The spirit of the Anzac lives on in these sporting heroes.”
Hartung says there is no doubt every person who attends the Games will be inspired by what they see.
“This will be an incredible and memorable experience for those of us lucky enough to witness these Games. We will watch competitors from 18 nations once again represent their countries over 8 days of fierce competition in 11 sports,” said Hartung. “Don’t miss your chance to buy tickets to this once in a life time experience.”
The Games will be staged across Greater Sydney, including at Sydney Olympic Park and on and around Sydney Harbour. The opening ceremony will be held at the Sydney Opera House.Tickets are now on sale at www.invictusgames2018.org for athletics, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
Tickets will be released in coming months for archery, powerlifting, the opening ceremony and closing celebration.
The opening weekend of competition will feature three free events for spectators with the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Saturday and road cycling and sailing on the Sunday 21 October.