Invictus Games

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Invictus Games
Invictus games logo cropped.png
MottoI AM
First event2014
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
FounderThe Duke of Sussex
Medals from London 2014

The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. The Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country. The word 'Invictus' means 'unconquered', chosen as an embodiment of the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick service personnel and what they can achieve, post injury.[1]

The Invictus Games were founded by Prince Harry. The inspiration came from his visit to the Warrior Games in the USA, where he witnessed how sport can really help both psychologically and physically.[2]

The first Invictus Games took place in September 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom. The 2014 opening ceremony was organized by Harry and attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. The event also included a recorded message from the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.[3]

The second games opened on 8 May 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida, United States. The games were organized by Harry. First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, former U.S. President George W. Bush and many other dignitaries. U.S. President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II helped make a promotional video for the 2016 event.[4]

The third games were held in September 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,[5] where Harry made one of his first high-profile public appearances with Meghan Markle, whom he later married. The 2018 games were held in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and attended by both Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan. The 2020 games were scheduled to be held in The Hague, Netherlands in May 2020, but were postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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.[6][7][8][9] 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.[10][11] £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.[10][12] The Games were also sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover.[9] 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".[13] He also said that their long-term objective was to ensure that injured troops are not forgotten as Britain's involvement with the War in Afghanistan comes to an end.[10][14]

Host cities[edit]

Host cities of the Invictus Games
Number Year City Country Venue Nations Opening ceremony Closing ceremony
1 2014 London  United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 14 10 September 2014 14 September 2014
2 2016 Orlando  United States ESPN Wide World of Sports 15 8 May 2016 12 May 2016
3 2017 Toronto  Canada Air Canada Centre 17 23 September 2017 30 September 2017
4 2018 Sydney  Australia Sydney Olympic Park 18 20 October 2018 27 October 2018
5 2020 The Hague  The Netherlands Sportcampus Zuiderpark 19 16 April 2022 22 April 2022
6 2023 Düsseldorf  Germany Merkur Spiel-Arena 20 9 September 2023 16 September 2023

Invictus Games Foundation[edit]

The Invictus Games Foundation is the owner of the brand and the selector of future Host Cities. It exists to ensure that the Invictus Games continue to adhere to the high standards that have been set. It is responsible for sport & competition management, rules & categorisations and branding. The Foundation is also the final arbiter on the inclusion of additional sports and Participating Nations.

The Foundation has presided over the transition from a one-off inspiring Games to a global movement allowing the ‘Invictus Spirit’ to positively influence all levels of society.

People around the world have drawn inspiration from the competitors and their stories of resilience and determination.

The bidding process for future games started in November 2014.[15]


The people who govern the foundation are:[16]

  • David Henson (British Team Captain of the 2014 Invictus Games)
  • Debbie Jevans (formerly Director of Sport for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; Organising committee member Invictus Games 2014)
  • Edward Lane Fox (former Private Secretary of Prince Harry)
  • Guy Monson (Trustee, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry)
  • Paddy Nicoll (Trustee, HALO Trust; formerly Army, Row2Recovery and Invictus Games 2014).
  • Mary Reilly (also on the Board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, organising committee member of Invictus Games 2014)


  • Chief Executive: Dominic Reid (was responsible for the operational delivery of the Invictus Games London 2014)
  • Operations Director: Richard Smith CBE


Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One World Champion, was appointed as the first ambassador.[17]


2014 Invictus Games[edit]

Four runners from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States during a 100-metre qualifying heat at the 2014 Invictus Games
Three American defenders knock the ball away from an Australian player during a wheelchair rugby pool match between the United States and Australia at the 2014 Invictus Games

The first Invictus Games were held on 10–14 September 2014.[10][9][20][21] Around 300 competitors from 13 countries which have fought alongside the United Kingdom in recent military campaigns participated. 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.[10][22]

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.

The closing concert was broadcast on BBC Two hosted by Clare Balding and Greg James.[23] The concert was hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Fearne Cotton, with live performances from Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, Rizzle Kicks, Bryan Adams and Ellie Goulding.[24][25][26]

2016 Invictus Games[edit]

Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman narrates for the opening ceremony to the 2016 Invictus games in Orlando, Florida

On 14 July 2015, Prince Harry, Patron of Invictus Games Foundation, announced the 2016 Invictus Games would take place from 8–12 May 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.[27]

On 28 October 2015, Prince Harry and USA's First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden, launched Invictus Games 2016 at Fort Belvoir.[28]

U.S. Invictus wheelchair basketball team members celebrate their gold medal win during the 2016 Invictus Games

In order to bring Invictus Games to the US, Military Adaptive Sports Inc. (MASI) was created, and worked to build on the success of the Invictus Games 2014 held in London.[29]

Ken Fisher served as Chairman and CEO for Invictus Games Orlando 2016.[30]

All 14 countries from the 2014 Games were invited back, while Jordan was the only new invitee.[31]

2017 Invictus Games[edit]

Toronto hosted the 2017 Invictus Games in September 2017 during Canada's sesquicentennial. Building from hosting the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2015, Toronto's organizers planned to feature more competitors, nations and sports—such as ice events—than previously.[32]

Unlike prior games which were hosted at a single site, multiple venues around the Greater Toronto Area hosted the 12 sporting events and opening and closing ceremonies.[33][34] The venues were Air Canada Centre that hosted the opening and closing ceremony. Fort York National Historic Site hosted the archery. Nathan Phillips Square for wheelchair tennis; Ryerson University's Mattamy Athletic Centre hosted the indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby; St. George's Golf and Country Club hosted the golf; The Distillery District hosted the Jaguar Land Rover driving challenge; High Park to host cycling; Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre to host swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball; and York Lions Stadium hosted the athletics.

Michael Burns was the CEO for 2017 Games and the official mascot for the Games was Vimy, a Labrador.[35]

All 15 countries from the 2016 Games were invited back, with new invitations going to Romania and Ukraine.[36]

2018 Invictus Games[edit]

Bids to host the 2018 Invictus Games closed in December 2015.[37] The Gold Coast in Australia announced its intention to bid, using facilities built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[38] In November 2016, Sydney, Australia, was announced as the host city.[39]

Patrick Kidd OBE was the CEO and the Royal Australian Mint released a commemorative $1 coin featuring braille text in the lead up to the Games.[40]

All 17 countries from the 2017 Games were invited back, with an invitation extended to Poland.[41]

2020 Invictus Games[edit]

The games were to be held on 9–16 May 2020 at the Zuiderpark in The Hague, Netherlands,[42] but were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were then postponed again to the Spring of 2022.[43] The new dates will be 29 May to 5 June, 2022.[44]

In April 2021, it was announced that Heart of Invictus, a Netflix documentary series in partnership with Invictus Games and Archewell, would surround the competitors from the 2022 Invictus Games.[45][45] Prince Harry will executive produce the series and appear on camera.[45]

2023 Invictus Games[edit]

Games were to be held in 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany,[46] in the Merkur Spiel-Arena.[47] Following the postponement of the 2020 Games to 2022, the Düsseldorf Games have now been postponed to 2023.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Invictus Games Story – Invictus Games Foundation". Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  2. ^ "The Invictus Games Story – Invictus Games Foundation". Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Prince Harry's Invictus Games open". BBC News. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. ^ BBC News (29 April 2016). "The Queen vs The President: 'Boom'". YouTube.
  5. ^ "Prince Harry announces Toronto to host 2017 Invictus Games". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. The Canadian Press. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Prince Harry launches Paralympic-style games for soldiers". BBC News. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  7. ^ "What this inspiring contest means to me". London Evening Standard. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Prince Harry launches Invictus Games for injured troops at Olympic Park". The Guardian. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Prince Harry launches 'Invictus Games' for wounded vets". USA Today. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e Sherwin, Adam (6 March 2014). "Prince Harry wins £1m funding in LIBOR bank fines to help stage 'Invictus Games' for injured servicemen and women at the Olympic Park". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  11. ^ Jobson, Robert (6 March 2014). "London will host Prince Harry's version of the Warrior Games". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Prince Harry launches 'Invictus Games' for wounded veterans". Postmedia News. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Video: Prince Harry launches Invictus Games for wounded servicemen". The Daily Telegraph. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Prince Harry calls for public support for September's Invictus Games for disabled soldiers". East London Advertiser. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  15. ^ "BIDDING PROCESS OPEN FOR ASPIRING HOSTS OF FUTURE INVICTUS GAMES". Invictus Games Foundation. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Governance". Invictus Games Foundation.
  17. ^ "Stevenage driver Lewis Hamilton named as Invictus Games ambassador". ITV News. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  18. ^ "LEWIS HAMILTON UNVEILED AS FIRST AMBASSADOR FOR INVICTUS GAMES FOUNDATION". Invictus Games Foundation. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  19. ^ "He's busy getting ready 4 #BritishGP but @lewishamilton spent time meeting #InvictusGames competitors". Invictus Games Twitter account.
  20. ^ Adams, Sam (6 March 2014). "What are the Invictus Games?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Prince Harry launches Invictus Games for soldiers". Zee News. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  22. ^ "Prince Harry launches sports event for wounded soldiers". One News. TVNZ. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  23. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Invictus Games go out on a high with Foo Fighters, Ellie Goulding and more". Digital Spy. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ McCormick, Neil (15 September 2014). "Invictus Games closing concert, Olympic Park, review: 'heroic endeavour'". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  27. ^ "PRINCE HARRY ANNOUNCES SECOND INVICTUS GAMES IN ORLANDO". Invictus Games Foundation. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016.
  28. ^ "PRINCE HARRY JOINS FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA AND DR. BIDEN TO OFFICIALLY LAUNCH INVICTUS GAMES ORLANDO 2016". Invictus Games Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  29. ^ "Military Adaptive Sports Inc. (MASI)". Invictus Games 2016. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Prince Harry Announces 2016 Invictus Games Coming to United States" (PDF). Invictus Games 2016.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "Countries". Invictus Games 2016 - Orlando - May 8–12 - ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  32. ^ "Prince Harry Announces Third Invictus Games in Toronto" (Press release). London: Invictus Games Foundation. The Canadian Press. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  33. ^ "2017 Invictus Games Venues – Locations, Descriptions & Photos". Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  34. ^ Dan Taekema (16 March 2016). "Toronto to host Invictus Games and Prince Harry in 2017". Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  35. ^ Oliver Sachgau (29 April 2016). "Meet Vimy, the 2017 Invictus Games mascot". Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Countries". Nations - Invictus Games 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  37. ^ "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS". Invictus Games Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  38. ^ "Gold Coast to bid to host Prince Harry's Invictus Games". Gold Coast Bulletin. 5 November 2015.
  39. ^ "Prince Harry names Sydney as 2018 Invictus Games host". BBC News. 14 August 2017.
  40. ^ "Invictus Games Commemorative coin released". Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  41. ^ "Countries". Nations - Invictus Games 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  42. ^ "Invictus Games". Invictus Games (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  43. ^ Nolasco, Stephanie (19 March 2020). "Prince Harry's Invictus Games postponed to 2022 due to coronavirus pandemic". Fox News. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  44. ^ "The Invictus Games The Hague will be held from May 29 to June 5, 2022". Invictus Games. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  45. ^ a b c "Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Archewell Productions Scores First Netflix Order With Invictus Docuseries". Deadline. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  46. ^ "HRH The Duke of Sussex announces the Invictus Games 2022 will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany". The Invictus Games Foundation. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  47. ^ Deutschland richtet die Invictus Games 2022 in Düsseldorf aus
  48. ^ "Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023". Retrieved 6 July 2020.

External links[edit]