In two weeks, 500 athletes from 15 countries will converge on Orlando for the 2016 Invictus Games.
After the successful inaugural games in London in 2014, this event is spearheaded by Army Veteran, Prince Harry’s passion, motivation and advocacy for wounded veterans is sure to shed an even brighter spotlight on the athletic abilities of these wounded and recovering warriors. The games aim to show that despite their injuries, they remain unconquerable.
the Invictus games uses “the power of sport” to help grow a better understanding of those who serve their country; to inspire recovery for wounded veterans and current service members and support rehabilitation for caregivers and families.
Also joining Prince Harry for these games are the stars of Hollywood royalty. 78-year-old Oscar-winning actor, Morgan Freeman, will participate in the opening ceremony on May 8. Mr. Freeman said in a statement: “The Invictus Games are a celebration of the human spirit and I am honored to be able to support these inspiring competitors who have embraced sport as part of their healing journey.”
He continued by encouraging a spirit of patriotism: “I hope that my fellow Americans will join me in Orlando to cheer on these magnificent men and women who are truly unconquerable, as the Invictus poem says, they are the masters of their fates, they are the captains of their souls.”
The opening ceremonies will also feature musical performances by Laura Wright, James Blunt and other surprise guests. While popular country group Rascal Flatts, Rachel Platten and Flo Rida are expected to perform at the closing ceremony on May 12..
As previously announced, Dancing With the star’s Derek Hough and Olympic gold medalist, Shawn Johnson will also be joining the Prince. These two Dancing With the Stars champions will join welsh singer Katherine Jenkins by serving as celebrity ambassadors for the games.
Derek had this to say about the athletes: “These athletes and warriors are shining examples of perseverance and strength and it’s an honor to be able to support them in any way that I can.”
Shawn added, “I am beyond excited!”
There are 10 sporting events that will take place during the course of the games. All will take place at the Walt Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Athletes will compete in such different sports such as archery, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
To stay up-to-date about all that’s going on at the Invictus games, keep following royal central on FaceBook and Twitter.
Our reporter, Kelli Finger, will be on the ground in Orlando from May 8-9 covering the opening ceremonies, as well as providing updates on all the latest events.