What are the Invictus Games?
Returning from deployment in Afghanistan, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, watched as the coffin of a Danish Soldier was loaded aboard for repatriation, alongside three injured British soldiers. That moment had a profound impact on him and, following a visit to the US Warrior Games in 2013, he was inspired to create the international Invictus Games to celebrate the unconquered human spirit, and shine a spotlight on these men and women who served.
The biennial Invictus Games use competitive adaptive sport to aid recovery for international wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veteran. The spirit of the Games therefore lies not in elite sport, but the delivery of a high-profile, international, adaptive sports event where rehabilitation of the individual is at the core.
Each nation has defined its own legacy
Any aspiring host city must demonstrate a tangible legacy plan alongside delivering an international sporting event that attracts spectators, sponsors and wider society to attend and show their respect for the armed forces men and women in recovery.
An Invictus Games should run over approximately one week, for up to 550 competitors, with the nine core sports and flexibility for additional activities and competitions including esports. At each Invictus Games, two family and friend members are also allocated space to attend in support of their loved one.
Invictus Games Sydney 2018
It was ‘Game On Down Under’ when Australia welcomed competitors and their family and friends for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.
Sydney hosted 491 competitors and 1,000 family and friends from 18 nations from 20-27 October. The Games featured medal competition in 11 sports alongside Golf and Wheelchair Tennis with events held across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park and Sydney Harbour.
“The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 has been an excellent opportunity to shine a light on the healing power of sport and to demonstrate what is possible when you focus on ability”
491 Competitors; 13 venues; 105,000 Spectators; 1007 Family & Friends; 10,000 Students attended; 665 Media
Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Indoor Rowing, JLR Driving Challenge, Powerlifting, Sitting Volleyball, Sailing, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby
18 countries took part in the Games: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Jordan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, UK, Ukraine and USA.
Cobber: an Australian Blue Heeler and an Assistance Dog!
20th - 27th October 2018
Invictus Games Toronto 2017
The third Invictus Games took place in Toronto, Canada from 23-30 September 2017. These Games brought together 539 competitors from 17 nations for 8 days of fierce competition. As well as countries who participated in the 2014 and 2016 Invictus Games, Iraq, Ukraine and Romania took part in their first ever Games. Competitors were joined by over 1,000 of their families and friends to recognise the vital role they play on a competitor’s recovery journey.
Competitors took part in 12 adaptive sports including archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby and new to the Games, golf. All competitions took place in state-of-the-art sport venues throughout Toronto and were packed with thousands of cheering fans. There was also a driving challenge by Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Presenting Partner Jaguar Land Rover.
The 2017 Games also introduced the first-ever Invictus Games relay which ignited the Invictus Games spirit across Canada, reaching 32 military bases and neighbouring communities.
"To the competitors, through your athleticism, through your drive and your competitive spirit, you are showing the world that illness and injury can actually be a source of tremendous strength. We know that no one leaves a battlefield unchanged and that not all scars can be seen."
Overall attendance: 75,000
Number of volunteers: 1,427 (worked a total of 80,000 hours)
Number of service dogs: 14
Hours of competition: 152
Number of accredited media: 621
Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Golf, Indoor Rowing, JLR Driving Challenge, Powerlifting, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Rugby
17 nations took part in the Games: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Jordan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, UK, Ukraine, and USA.
23rd - 30th September 2017
The Games were perceived, above all else, as being about the competitors — at 64 per cent rather than the 53 for the competition.
Invictus Games Orlando 2016
The second Invictus Games took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
From the 8-12 May 2016, the iconic WWS complex welcomed 487 competitors from 14 nations. During four days of intense sporting action they competed in 10 sports as well as a driving challenge, presented by Jaguar Land Rover.
Tens of thousands of cheering spectators as well as competitors’ friends and families packed venues during the week to cheer on competitors who had come from around the world to show their Invictus spirit.
I have dedicated the rest of my life to honoring the service and sacrifice of the men and women with whom I served as Commander-in-Chief. Those who wear their Nation’s uniform, some of whom have overcome both visible and invisible injuries, deserve our support.
1008 Family & Friends inc. 239 Children; 400 media; 55,886 spectators; 836 volunteers; 410 medals
Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Indoor Rowing, JLR Driving Challenge, Powerlifting, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Rugby
The following 14 countries took part in the Games: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Jordan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, UK and USA.
8th - 12th May 2016
Champion Stadium, HP Field House, Jostens Centre, Tennis Complex & Track & Field Complex.
Invictus Games London 2014
The inaugural Invictus Games, held from 10-14 September 2014 in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, brought together over 400 competitors from 13 nations around the world. Across four days of intense sporting action, they competed in ten sports in five venues.
Two years on from the spectacle of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, tens of thousands of people returned to pack iconic venues in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This time they were cheering on men and women who just six months prior had been unknown to the public, despite the personal sacrifice they had made on behalf of their country.
The Games started with a spectacular Opening Ceremony, with an audience of 5,000 gathering on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the special military themed opening event. A fly past from The Red Arrows, displays by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Queen’s Colour Squadron and performances from bands in the Royal Marines, Army and RAF kicked off the Games in style.
The Jaguar Land Rover Invictus Games Closing Concert was a star-studded event, featuring the likes of the Foo Fighters, Bryan Adams, Ellie Goulding and The Kaiser Chiefs. It was the perfect finale for an inspirational four days of sporting action.
"As I have followed the competition over the past four days, I have been deeply moved by your courage, determination and talent. The success of these Games can be measured not by medals won, but by the renewed sense of purpose and confidence in your abilities that you have gained."
409 competitors; 204 support staff; 751 Family & Friends; Over 300 volunteers; 79,000 attendance across the Games
Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Indoor Rowing, JLR Driving Challenge, Powerlifting, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby
The following 13 countries took part in the Games: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, UK and USA.
10th - 14th September 2014
Venues included the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Lee Valley Athletics Centre and Gaydon JLR testing facility
The Invictus Games are about more than sport.
With a focus on participation rather than the medal table, the Invictus Games celebrate personal bests and making it to the start line.
Sports recovery is proven to accelerate and reinforce rehabilitation, and participation in an Invictus Games is transformative for competitors and their friends and family.
A stepping stone
Be an integral component of the overall support provided to the WIS community in their recovery journey
The Invictus Spirit
Be a symbol of the strength, honour and optimism of the ‘Invictus Generation’ and of the wider Invictus Games family
Bringing society together
Inspire the WIS community, their families, supporters, the disabled community, businesses and general society
Contribute to bringing together the international military, WIS and veteran communities across the Participating Nations
Valuing those who served
Enhance the understanding of those who serve their country, to build respect and strengthen support
Host the Invictus Games
If you would like to register your interest as a future host city.
- Be an existing member of the Invictus Community of Nations
- Demonstrate commitment to the Invictus movement
- Be able to evidence financial backing for your proposal
For interest, you can view the guidance for 2027 here, noting that expressions of interest for 2027 have now closed.