It’s full steam ahead for the upcoming Invictus Games as the medals for the sporting extravaganza have recently been unveiled.
The medals, which have been designed by Garrard, the oldest jewellery house in the world, will be handed out to the winners and runners up at the Invictus Games in September. It will not just be the medals that are being handed out though, every single competitor at the event for wounded servicemen and women will receive a Garrard medallion in recognition of their competing in the games, so that’s 400 competitors from 14 different nations each receiving a commemorative medallion.
What makes the medals even more special is that they are based on a concept by Harry Parker, who lost both of his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and they were designed and crafted by Garrard to capture the vision behind the Invictus Games. The embossed pattern on the medals quite rightly represents the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded servicemen and women but also of the sick and injured competitors taking part.
The Invictus Games is an international Paralympic style, multi sport event that is very similar to the USA’s Warrior Games. It is named after the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley and will see service personnel from 14 different nations compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball and indoor rowing. The games are the brainchild of Prince Harry and some of the funds have come from the Royal Foundation, a charity set up by Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It isn’t just the Royal backing that the event has though, celebrities including Daniel Craig, Joanna Lumley, Joss Stone and Sir Bruce Forsyth have all pledged their support.
Sergeant Craig Gadd, who whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2010 lost a leg on an IED, is hoping to be selected for the British Armed Forces Team and he added, “Sport has made all the difference in my own journey of recovery. It’s not just the physical and psychological benefits but the social aspect too.”
It can be assumed that should Sgt Gadd make the team, his main aim will be to win a Garrard medal, a medal which is engraved with the words ‘I am the master of my fate’ and the Invictus ‘I AM’ trademark.
Eric Deardoff, CEO of Garrard is also fully behind the games, “We are honoured to play such a critical role in such a remarkable event in London to raise awareness of the recovery and rehabilitation of those who served their country.”
Garrard has been a creator of Royal regalia, jewellery and silverware for Kings and Queens all around the world for nearly 300 years and it is also credited with supplying the Americas Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Premier League Trophy.
It is quite apt that Invictus is Latin for unconquered and when the 400 competitors take to the sporting stage in September this will be the embodiment of their fighting spirit, to show what they can achieve post injury. It will also be a chance for the public to celebrate the Invictus spirit and to encourage the competitors to drive themselves further, as well as being inspired by what they are witnessing.
Tickets for the Invictus Games are currently on sale and can be purchased from £12.85 each.
Photo Credit: Invictus Games 2014.