The Invictus Games will return for its fifth competition this weekend as athletes travel to The Hague, Netherlands, to prepare for the tournament.
The first event took place in 2014 and was set up by the Duke of Sussex after he had witnessed the Warrior Games in the USA.
The Games are an international sporting event, as similar to the Olympics as they can be, for the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who are both serving and veterans.
Prince Harry hoped that the Games would use the power of sport to help recovery and support rehabilitation as well as generate a wider understanding of respect for all those who serve their country.
Meaning ‘unconquered’, the word invictus was chosen in order to inspire the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick service personnel and hope to show what they could achieve even with their injury.
The first Games were held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, the second took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida; the third games took place in Toronto, Canada while the fourth were hosted by Sydney, Australia.
£1 million in funding was provided by the Royal Foundation, a charity set up by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with backing from the then Chancellor George Osborne in order to set up the Games in 2014 and Prince Harry hoped that the Games would ‘demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery, rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability’.
This year, Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle, is set to join her husband at the event. The pair have been given VVIP status for the Games with a ‘high level multi-agency protection programme’.
The Dutch national police and Diplomatic Security Service is set to lead the protection and a source close to the Sussex family told The Mirror: “Harry and Meghan have received absolute top assurances that there is no credible threat to their safety.”
“This is the view of the Dutch authorities and other agencies across the continent.”
Here is all you need to know ahead of the Invictus Games…
When is the Invictus Games?
The Games will commence on Saturday 16 April 2022 and conclude on Friday 22 April 2022. The fifth event was due to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where are the Games being held?
The Invictus Games will be held at Zuiderpark, The Hague, Netherlands.
How to watch Invictus Games
BBC One has the rights for all the coverage for the Invictus Games. Fans will then be able to catch up on all the latest through BBC iPlayer.
To buy tickets for the event, go to the Invictus Website.
Who will take part in the Invictus Games?
Around 500 competitors from about 20 countries are set to take part. All the athletes are former servicemen and women from their respective countries who were injured or fell sick while serving their country.
What sports make up the Invictus Games?
There are 10 different sports that make up the Invictus Games: Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Indoor Rowing, Land Rover Driving Challenge, Powerlifting, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby.
The Athletics events that will be held at the Invictus Games are: 100m, 200, 400, 1500, and 4x100m relay, while the field events will be discus, shot put and horizontal jump.
The men and women have separate events.
What has Prince Harry said ahead of the Games?
Prince Harry has recently announced a new partner for the Invictus Games Foundation and made a statement saying: “At its heart, the Invictus Games is about empowering every single person around the world.
“It’s a worldwide display of resilience, determination, and community for which each of us can draw inspiration.
“I couldn’t think of a better new partner for the Invictus Games Foundation than the mental fitness platform BetterUp.
“The mind is like a muscle: it needs to be honed, trained, rehabbed and coached.
“The men and women I served with understand this, the Invictus community knows this, and now the world is beginning to see it too.
“I’m honoured to bring the work we do at BetterUp to Invictus and look forward to expanding the support systems that service members and veterans depdn