Following the UK, the US, Canada and Australia, the Invictus games will be held in The Hague this year. Because the sporting event is a fairly recent development (it was established only a few years ago in 2014)- you might be wondering what it is exactly.
What are the Invictus Games?
The word ‘Invictus’ is synonymous for ‘unconquered,’ intended to embody ‘the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick Service personnel’ and what these individuals are capable of post-injury, according to its philosophy. The games are aimed at aiding in recovery rehabilitation through sport, and fostering respect for those that have served their country- so unlike other sporting events, winning a medal is not necessarily the most important element.
What does Prince Harry have to do with the Invictus Games?
The Invictus Games were founded by British Prince Harry, who served for a decade in the British Air Force. After having attended the Warrior Games in the United States (initiated by the US Department of Defence, participants of Warrior Games are also military service personnel and veterans from six different countries) in 2013, the Prince was inspired to launch the Invictus Games, with an initial budget of 1 million pounds.
Regarding the launching of the Invictus Games, Prince Harry stated, ‘I have witnessed first hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery.’
The event has since grown- this year the games will take place between the 9th and 16th of May, comprising of 500 participants from 20 different countries, including Afghanistan, Estonia, Jordan, Poland and of course, the Netherlands. Interestingly, the games are linked to 75 years of liberation of the Netherlands in 2020.
What can you expect from the Invictus Games?
The array of sports include: the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. So if you’re looking for something a little more positive after all the drama entered along with the new year, (coronavirus, fires in Australia, a failed attempt to impeach the American president), this is it.
Tickets can be purchased here. Will you be attending? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image: U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Seara Marcsis/Wikimedia Commons