The Invictus Games has been a huge part of Prince Harry's life, but what exactly is it?
In 2013 after a visit to the US Warrior Games in America and the profound impact his time deployed in Afghanistan had on him, Prince Harry was inspired by how the power of sport could help wounded servicemen and women in their recovery - physically, psychologically, and socially.
This inspiration led to the Invictus Games, an international multi-sport event for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. The word 'Invictus' means 'unconquered'.
The inaugural Invictus Games, held from 10-14 September 2014 in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, brought together for the first time over 400 competitors from 13 nations around the world.
This international event saw the British team joined by participants from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the USA.
Across four days of intense sporting action, they competed in nine sports in five venues. At the time Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex said: "These Games have shone a spotlight on the ‘unconquerable’ character of service men and women and their families and their ‘Invictus’ spirit."
The following cities went on to host the Invictus Games:
- Orlando, US - 2016
- Toronto, Canada - 2017
- Sydney, Australia - 2018
- The Hague, Netherlands - 2022
This year the Invictus Games will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany for the first time from 9th - 16th September.
In August 2023, Netflix released the "Heart of Invictus" documentary which follows a group of competitors, from around the globe, all service members who have experienced life-changing injuries or illnesses, on their road to the Invictus Games in The Hague.