Competitors who will compete in the Invictus Games, the international sports event for ‘wounded warriors’ launched by Prince Harry and held in London, have only 100 days of rigorous training on their calendar before the Opening Ceremony on 10 September.
During the next 100 days, injured Servicemen and women, both serving and veterans from the 14 participating nations will participate in hundreds of hours of selection and training events for all nine sports. The goal will be to represent their country in the inaugural Invictus Games.
Invictus is Latin for unconquered, a word that embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and what they can achieve, post-injury.
The Invictus Games are organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. The event will feature nine adaptive sports at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
Prince Harry commented: “I’d like to wish the hundreds of servicemen and women who have put their names forward for the Invictus Games the best of luck for the next 100 days. All the training and preparation will be worth it when they’re competing in front of the cheering crowds. I am looking forward to seeing them compete in September.”
Amongst those hoping to be selected for the British Armed Forces team is Mickaela Richards. “It took me months to realise the extent and impact of my injuries. I’d reached rock bottom and I wasn’t looking for a way up. I thought my life was over until another injured person showed me that there can be life after injury and that I could compete in sport,” Richards commented.
In 2011, Dave Henson was out clearing a compound in Helmand Province when he stood on an IED. He lost both legs above the knee and also suffered blast wounds on his thighs and arms. “Having competed in the Warrior Games last year, it would be an honour to be a part of the British Armed Forces team on home soil. I’m hungry for a space and not leaving anything to chance,” Henson stated.
The sports at the Invictus Games are: Archery, Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball, Road Cycling, Powerlifting, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby, Swimming and Sitting Volleyball.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host events in the London Aquatics Centre, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark and Here East, with Athletics at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Teams have been invited from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Iraq, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, UK & USA.