On a visit to the United States in 2013, HRH The Duke of Sussex attended the Warrior Games – a series of competitive events for American wounded returned servicemen and women to participate in. Below the surface of being a competition and a celebration of participants for their service and accomplishments, what was most notable was how the Warrior Games provided a platform for the wounded, injured and ill to incorporate sport into their healing and recovery process.
Bringing the idea back home to the United Kingdom, The Duke founded The Invictus Games in 2014. ‘Invictus’ is a Latin word meaning ‘unconquered’ – a truly apt description of the wounded, injured and ill that return from national service.
The inaugural Invictus Games were held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, and more than 400 competitors from 13 nations took part.
Now in its fourth year, the Invictus Games head down under to Sydney, where more than 500 competitors from 18 nations will compete and celebrate their collective achievements. They are all unconquered. They are all Invictus.
“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
William Ernest Henley
United States of America