Invictus Games (multi-sport event)
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
The Invictus Games is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including Wheelchair basketball, Sitting volleyball and Indoor rowing. Named after Invictus, the Latin for "Unconquered, Undefeated" the event was inspired by the Warrior Games, a similar event held in the United States. The first Invictus Games took place in 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England.
The opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The event also included a recorded message from American First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Games were launched on 6 March 2014 by Prince Harry at London's Copper Box arena, used as a venue during the 2012 Olympics. Having seen a British team competing at the US Warrior Games held in Colorado in 2013, the prince wished to bring the concept of a similar international sporting event to the United Kingdom. With the backing of Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Ministry of Defence, the event was put together over ten months. £1m of funding for the project was provided by the Royal Foundation, a charity established by Prince Harry along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with an equal amount being pledged by Chancellor George Osborne from Treasury funds generated by fines imposed on banks as a result of the Libor scandal. The Games was sponsored also by Jaguar Land Rover. Speaking at the launch, the prince said that the Games would "demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability". He also said that their long-term objective was to ensure injured troops are not forgotten as Britain's involvement in the War in Afghanistan comes to an end.
The first Invictus Games was held on 10–14 September 2014. Around 300 competitors from 13 countries which have fought alongside the United Kingdom in recent military campaigns participated. These included the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand and Afghanistan. Competitive events were held at many of the venues used during the 2012 Olympics, including the Copper Box and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre. The Games were broadcast by the BBC.
- HRH Prince Harry
- Edward Lane Fox (private secretary of HRH Prince Harry)
- Guy Monson (trustee of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry)
- Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory CB (represents Defence on the Invictus Games Board)
- General Sir Nick Parker KCB CBE (was in charged with organising the military support provided by the Armed Forces during the London 2012 Games)
- Sir Keith Mills GBE (former deputy chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games)
- Debbie Jevans CBE (formerly Director of Sport for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games)
- Sara Donaldson OBE (was chief operating officer of the Production Company for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies)
- Chris Townsend OBE (was Commercial Director for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games)
- Terry Miller OBE (was general counsel for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games)
- Roger Mosey (was the BBC's Director of London 2012 Olympic Games coverage and former BBC editorial director)
- Mary Reilly (was also on the Board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games)
14 countries were invited to the 2014 games, 8 from Europe, 2 from Asia, 2 from North America and 2 from Oceania. No countries from Africa were invited. There were teams from all the invited countries, except Iraq, competing in the games.
Athletics (aka track & field), Archery, Indoor rowing, Powerlifting, Road cycling, Sitting volleyball, Swimming, Wheelchair basketball and Wheelchair rugby. The presenting partner Jaguar Land Rover also organised a driving challenge.
2014 Closing Concert
The closing concert was broadcast on BBC Two hosted by Clare Balding and Greg James. The concert was hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Fearne Cotton with live performances came from Foo Fighters, James Blunt, Rizzle Kicks, Bryan Adams and Ellie Goulding.
The following venues were used for Invictus 2014:
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- Ringwood, Shaun (14 September 2014). "The Invictus Games - Closing Concert on BBC Two tonight featuring Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs, Ellie Goulding & Diversity". Scunthorpe Telegraph (Local World). Retrieved 15 September 2014.
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- Paine, Andre= (15 September 2014). "Invictus Games Closing Concert, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - music review: Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl dedicated My Hero to 'all the heroes'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- McCormick, Neil (15 September 2014). "Invictus Games closing concert, Olympic Park, review: 'heroic endeavour'". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 15 September 2014.