Prince Harry is creating a worldwide event for injured servicemen and women, he announced today in London. He said he got the idea after attending the Colorado Warrior games with British service members in the U.S. last year.
Harry told an audience at the Copper Box Arena in East London at the former Olympic park that it was “such a good idea by the Americans that it had to be stolen.”
Harry’s commitment to raising awareness for injured troops is unprecedented. He has trekked to the Arctic with wounded service members through his foundation Walking with the Wounded and recently completed a grueling race on foot and skis to the South Pole with British, U.S. and allied service members.
ABC News’ Bob Woodruff spoke to Harry after the Walking with the Wounded’s Arctic mission.
“I am extremely proud to be bringing an event like this to the U.K. for the first time and believe it can have a long-lasting impact on the well-being of those who have served their nations so bravely,” Harry said.
Invictus Games officials said they are hoping to include the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both active duty and veterans, from 13 nations. The games will feature competition in eight sports from Sept. 10 to 14 in London, including athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball.
“I have witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery,” Harry told the crowd at today’s announcement.
Prince Harry, also known as Captain Harry Wales, has served in Afghanistan and has seen the injuries that military serving members are facing. Harry first served as a forward Air controller in Helmand Province and most recently flew Apache helicopters at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan.
“The Invictus Games will focus on what they can achieve post-injury and celebrate their fighting spirit through an inclusive sporting competition that recognizes the sacrifice they have made,” he said.
Invictus is the title of a poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley and in Latin means “unconquered.” The poem, which the late South African leader Nelson Mandela said was a source of inspiration during his long captivity in prison, expresses an indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.