Sports

What are the Invictus Games?

External Link: Prince Harry reveals Sydney as the host for the 2018 Invictus GamesRelated Story: How one Aussie veteran nearly brought Prince Harry to tearsRelated Story: Prince Harry arrives in Sydney for Invictus countdown

This year, the Invictus Games are coming to Sydney.

From October 20-27, more than 500 athletes will descend on Sydney for the competition.

But if you've had your head in all things Commonwealth and Winter Olympics recently, you might not have heard of the Invictus Games.

Let's get you up to speed.

What are the Invictus Games?

They're an international adaptive multi-sport event for wounded, sick and injured service personnel. (We'll explain what an "adaptive" sport is a little later.)

The Games were created in 2014 by Prince Harry, who was inspired after he attended a similar event for wounded veterans in the United States a year earlier.

As for the name, "Invictus" means "unconquered".

Here's the organisers on why they chose the name:

It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and personifies what these tenacious men and women can achieve post injury.

There have been three Invictus Games held so far — the first was in London in 2014, the second was in Orlando in 2016 and the third was in Toronto last year.

That gap in 2015 was to allow Orlando to plan and raise funds for the 2016 Games (and we don't yet know the host of the 2019 version).

Invictus Games prove 'the impossible possible' Prince Harry says

Which sports are played?

The sports played at the first Invictus Games include:

  • Athletics
  • Archery
  • Driving challenge
  • Indoor rowing
  • Powerlifting
  • Road cycling/Road para-cycling
  • Swimming
  • Sitting volleyball
  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Wheelchair rugby

In Sydney, sailing will be added to the program.

Sitting volleyball? Indoor rowing?

Yep!

They're a couple of the adaptive sports that feature at the Games.

Adaptive sports are similar to their traditional counterparts, but have some modifications to rules and equipment, just like the Paralympics.

External Link: Follow our sitting volleyball competitors as they bump, set, spike and slide their way through the final selection camp.

Sitting volleyball, for example, has all the rules of volleyball, except you must have at least one butt cheek in contact with the ground whenever you make contact with the ball.

Indoor rowing just gets rid of the boats (and the water) and replaces them with rowing machines, which can be modified so everyone can participate.

Which countries compete?

At the 2018 Games, there'll be more than 500 athletes for 18 nations.

They'll include Afghanistan, Australia (obvs), Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the US.

Countries are invited to compete at the Games, but the key link is they're all military allies.

Awesome! Anything unique about the Sydney games?

Events will be run out of Sydney's Olympic Park, at the same venues which hosted the 2000 Olympics.

The sailing and road cycling events will take place in and around Sydney Harbour.

Australian Mark Urquart crossing the line at the Invictus Games 2016.

Prince Harry will be making a visit to Australia for the duration of the Games.

No official word yet if the newly married Prince will be bringing Meghan Markle along for the visit.

There's actually a bit of history at the Games for the pair.

Markle made her first public appearance with the Prince at the last Invictus Games in Toronto.

How can I watch?

Right here on the ABC!

Were the official host broadcaster of Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 20.

If you're super keen and want to watch in person, head on over to the Invictus Games website for tickets.

Original Article

Related Posts