The Gold Coast has missed out to Sydney – in its bid to host the 2018 Invictus Games founded by Prince Harry.
The red haired royal announcing his event, for wounded servicemen and women, will be held in the city famous for its Opera House.
Sydney follows fellow host cities London (2014) and Orlando (2016), with Toronto to come in 2017.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The fourth Invictus Games will be held 18-29 October 2018 with over 500 military competitors from 17 nations.
The event uses the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women and the families that play such an important supporting role.
It is the only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill active duty and veteran service members.
Some 17 nations will compete in eleven different adaptive sports with events being held across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park and on and around Sydney Harbour.
The announcement was made by Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, via video message. The full video announcement can be viewed at www.invictusgames2018.org.
The news was welcomed at an event in Sydney hosted by Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AC, Chair of Invictus Games Sydney 2018.
NSW Premier Mike Baird was a special guest at the event, along with 2018 Invictus Games Ambassadors Sapper Curtis McGrath, Paralympic gold medallist and Australian Invictus Games competitor; Crissy Ashcroft, Afghanistan veteran who recently performed on ‘The Voice’ and five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe OAM.
Other Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Ambassadors are His Excellency General The Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Wallabies captain Stephen Moore, and two-time America’s Cup winning skipper James Spithill.
Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation said: “The Invictus Games has shown us what can be achieved when wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women rediscover their fighting spirit through sport.
In London and again Orlando, we came away moved by the tales of courage that got each competitor through their rehabilitation to the start line of their chosen sport. Tens of thousands of people packed stadiums and millions more watched at home. We were ALL inspired.
We have raised the bar higher with each successive games, and I know that Toronto are planning an incredible event when they host the Games in September. And I am happy to say the Invictus Games journey won’t end there.”
“We had three key criteria. First, it had to be an iconic city – somewhere known the world over. Second, it needed to be a city with a proud military heritage, which would welcome competitors from all over the world with open arms. And finally, we wanted to go somewhere where they are absolutely sports mad and would really get behind our competitors. It was an easy decision really – the 2018 Invictus Games are coming to Sydney.”
Lt Gen Leahy, chair of Invictus Games Sydney 2018, said, “The Invictus Games is far more than a sporting event. It is a movement which celebrates the military community and the spirit that defines their service. Over the next two years we will bear witness to the amazing experiences of those who battle, every day, to turn adversity into opportunity using sport as a vehicle for their rehabilitation. Their stories will inspire us all.”
“We are very grateful for the support of our partners in the bid for the Invictus Games – the Australian Department of Defence and the NSW Government. We would also like to recognise Deloitte for the leadership and support they have given to getting the Games to this point. We are excited about working with existing and new partners as well as the broader Australian community to deliver the Invictus Games to Australia in October 2018. I would like to thank the Queensland Government for their early recognition of the potential of the Invictus Games. Their bid to host the Games was compelling and their energy made the whole venture possible. We look forward to making this a national Games.”
“We will continue the legacy of these great games by embracing the Invictus spirit and celebrating the Games not only in Sydney, but across the entire country.”
“Australians are well known for many great things, with their proud ANZAC spirit and respect for service to the nation being two of them,” continued Leahy. “Sydney will be the perfect location.”
Hosting the Invictus Games in Sydney in 2018, which is also the Centenary of the end of World War 1, provides a unique opportunity for Australia, and the rest of the world, to commemorate and honour the brave military personal that sacrificed their lives and their health for their country.
“100 years ago our forebears came home from the war, many of them badly wounded and impacted by their experiences. Today new veterans of new wars face problems of reintegrating back into the community. I ask all Australians to embrace these veterans and their families and all those who serve, and that we celebrate their indomitable spirit. Let us join together and help them in their journey of recovery and reintegration into a nation that is grateful for their service and sacrifice.”
Please visit arry to access Prince Harry’s full video message.