Harry to mark Invictus Games anniversary

The Duke of Sussex will be guest of honour at a reception celebrating the fifth anniversary of his Invictus Games.

Harry was inspired to found the global tournament for injured and wounded servicemen and women, and veterans, after seeing a similar sporting spectacle in America.

He attended the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013 and saw how injured American military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in competitive sports that aided their recovery.

Harry plays for the UK team against the US during a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs in 2013
Harry plays for the UK team against the US during a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs in 2013 (Chris Jackson/PA)

In a speech in 2017, Harry spoke about that experience: “Sport is what would make the difference.

“Sport would help these guys and girls fix their lives and reconnect with those around them. And the spectacle of sport combined with stories of recovery against the odds would inspire everyone who saw it.

“I left Colorado with the determination to take this to an international audience, so more people could see what I saw. Lives had been changed in front of my eyes – amazing men and women proving the impossible is possible.”

A year after visiting Colorado, the first Invictus Games was held in London’s Olympic Park to widespread acclaim.

Harry went on to stage the Games in Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017, Sydney in 2018, with The Hague chosen for the 2020 event.

Harry gives a speech during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, east London, in 2014
Harry gives a speech during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2014 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The reception, being staged at the Guildhall in the City of London, will also be an opportunity for the Invictus Games Foundation, which oversees the delivery of the event, to outline its future direction.

Guests on the night will include former competitors and their families, supporters of the Invictus Games movement and representatives from the military community.

At the reception, the duke will make a speech after hearing former competitors JJ Chalmers from the UK and William Reynolds from the US share their recovery journey after the Games.

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