The newly appointed Duke of Sussex made a big announcement on Monday, June 4 — he shared where the 2020 Invictus Games will be. Turns out, Prince Harry‘s event will take place in The Netherlands in two years!
“I am delighted to announce that The Hague is taking up the challenge of hosting the fifth Invictus Games in 2020,” he said in a statement via Twitter. “The city will soon become the motivation for hundreds of servicemen and women using the Invictus Games to inspire their recovery from physical and mental injuries. The Netherlands has supported the Games from the very beginning, and I know that everyone there will fully get behind and support the soldiers and veterans who have served their countries so bravely.”
“We have already seen in London, Orlando, and Toronto just how exciting hosting the Invictus Games can be,” Harry continued. “And I know this will be an incredible experience for everyone in the Hague as they embrace the Invictus spirit in 2020.”
So, what exactly are the Invictus Games anyway? Scroll down to learn all about the history of the special event!
What are the Invictus Games?
Prince Harry — who was previously in the military himself — was inspired to create the Invictus Games after attending a Warrior Games in the US in 2013. During that trip, Harry “saw first-hand how the power of sport can help physically, psychologically, and socially those suffering from injuries and illness,” according to the Invictus Games website. That said, he then came up with the multi-sport event.
“The word ‘invictus’ means ‘unconquered.’ It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured, and sick Service personnel and personifies what these tenacious men and women can achieve post injury. The Games harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country,” the website reads.
2018 Invictus Games
This year’s Invictus Games will take place in Sydney, Australia from Oct. 20 until Oct. 27. “Sydney will host 500 competitors and 1000 family and friends,” the website reads.
Royal fans are hoping that Prince Harry’s new wife, Meghan Markle, will attend the special event with her husband. However, this wouldn’t be the now Duchess of Sussex’s first appearance at the Invictus Games!
2017 Invictus Games
The 2017 Invictus Games were in Toronto, Canada, and took place from Sept. 23 until Sept. 30. Competitors at the event participated in 12 adaptive sports. “These Games brought together 540 competitors from 17 nations for 8 days of fierce competition. As well as countries who participated in the 2014 and 2016 Invictus Games, Ukraine and Romania took part in their first ever Games. Competitors were joined by over 1,000 of their families and friends to recognize the vital role they play on a competitor’s recovery journey,” the website read.
The third-ever Invictus Games were especially special because it was Prince Harry and Meghan’s Markle’s first official appearance as a couple! Being that Meghan was living in Toronto at the time for her hit show, Suits, she attended with her then-boyfriend. The best part? The couple packed on the PDA the entire time!
2016 Invictus Games
Two years ago, the second Invictus Games took place in the US (here’s hoping 2021 follows suit) at the ESPN World Wide of Sports at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL from May 8 until May 12. “The iconic WWS complex welcomed over 485 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,” the website reads. The year before, in 2015, Harry skipped the Invictus Games completely. And by the sounds of his announcement, he may be skipping 2019 as well.
2014 Invictus Games
The first-ever Invictus Games took place in 2014 in London, where Harry lives from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14 at Queen Elizabeth’s Olympic Park. The games — that started with a memorable opening ceremony — had over 400 competitors from 13 different nations. The best part? Tens of thousands of people were in attendance.
We can’t wait for this year’s games in just a few months!
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