Speaking in turn, they said: “We are Invictus. We have seen struggles, we felt loss and pain. We survived. And we will thrive.
“Because we know resilience. Because we are resilience. It’s who we are. On the battlefields, and off.
“We serve, we commit. We persevere. We heal.
The Duke added a message of hope and resilience, announcing the Games will go ahead when the time is appropriate.
He said, joined by the Games’ competitors: “And when the world is ready, we will compete. With all we have. With all we are.
“We will wear individual flags. But know that we are all one.”
But the coronavirus pandemic forced the Duke of Sussex and organisers to postpone it to May 2021 to protect athletes, their teams and supporters.
However, as COVID-19 continues to sweep across the world, the tournament could only have done ahead this year with several restrictions and no crowd.
These were changes which would “not do justice to the spirit of the Games”, Wouter Bakker, Captain of the Dutch Invictus Games team said.
After consulting the teams, stakeholders and partners, Prince Harry and other heads of the Invictus Games Foundations decided to reschedule again the tournament for spring next year.
A joint statement issued by the Duke of Sussex, Mart de Kruif, Chair of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 and Sir Keith Mills, Chair of the Invictus Games Foundation, read: “We are Invictus: from the communities that host and cherish the Games, and the competitors who display unshakeable resilience and commitment as they prepare for and participate in the Games, to the families and network of supporters who support these men and women on their journey to competition.
“For so many around the world, the Invictus community included, COVID-19 has changed our expectations, hopes, and plans.
“But our unwavering mission is one bound by resilience and community — and that mission will continue to shine through between now and Spring 2022, when we hope to see everybody in person again in The Hague.
“For now, we are planning programming, opportunities to connect safely during the foreseeable future, and ways to infuse the spirit of Invictus in your own communities over the coming year.
“We’re excited to share more soon.”
The Invictus Games are an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, whether still in service or veterans.
The goal of this tournament is to create a supportive community for those recovering as well as pay tribute to their extraordinary effort.
As announced in the joint statement, the Foundation will continue to support its members in other ways until the next Games.
The Invictus Games were founded by Prince Harry, who was inspired by the Warrior Games – a similar competition taking place in the US.
The first edition of the Games took place in London in 2014, when the Duke was still serving in the Army.
Prince Harry, a veteran, served in the Army for 10 years and took part in two tours in Afghanistan.
The Invictus Games Foundation is only one of the ways the Duke of Sussex has been supporting servicemen and women and veterans over the past years.
In April 2020, the Duke launched HeadFIT, a platform created to provide mental health support to people in the military.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK