The Invictus Games has been postponed for another year due to the coronavirus pandemic, its founder the Duke of Sussex has announced.
Harry insisted its “mission will continue to shine through” after the global event, which was due to be held this summer in The Hague, Holland, was moved to spring 2022.
The duke has appeared in a video with competitors past and present to issue a rallying call for future Games, and with each person saying a sentence they pay tribute to key workers on the front line saying “we’re with you”.
In a joint message with senior figures from the Games, Harry said: “For so many around the world, the Invictus community included, Covid-19 has changed our expectations, hopes and plans.
“But our unwavering mission is one bound by resilience and community and that mission will continue to shine through between now and apring 2022, when we hope to see everybody in person again in The Hague.
“For now, we are continuing to plan programming, opportunities to connect safely during the foreseeable future, and ways to infuse the spirit of Invictus in your own communities over the coming year. We’re excited to share more soon.”
Organisers considered staging the event for sick, wounded and injured veterans and serving military later in the year, and even digitally, but wanted to preserve the experience for competitors and provide them with certainty.
Marking the announcement of the postponement of the next Games, our Patron The Duke of Sussex joins #InvictusGames competitors past and present in a message of resilience in looking ahead to when the Games can happen again. pic.twitter.com/Q9Wh9nlEEG
— Invictus Games Foundation (@WeAreInvictus) February 2, 2021
The Hague Games were originally due to be staged in May 2020 but with many parts of the globe experiencing the first wave of coronavirus at the time it was postponed, and Holland will now host the event in 2022.
Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013 and seeing how injured American military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in competitive sports that aided their recovery.
He went on to stage the inaugural games in London’s Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018.