« Dusseldorf hosted the Invictus Games 2023, an international sports festival founded by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.
The event, which takes place from September 9 to 16, symbolises a collaboration between the German military and the city of Dusseldorf.
Footage captured on Sunday showcases fans cheering on their respective teams and countries as they participated in various types of sports. Prince Harry was also spotted watching a rugby match between Canada and New Zealand at the stadium.
Originally conceived by Prince Harry in 2014, the Invictus Games aim to support and honour wounded, injured, or ill military personnel, both physically and emotionally. These games serve as a platform to raise awareness and recognition for their sacrifices and contribute to their rehabilitation journey.
In this year’s edition of the games, approximately 500 competitors from 22 nations, along with around 1,000 family members and friends, gathered in Dusseldorf to participate. Athletes compete in ten different sports, including archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, cycling, sitting volleyball, table tennis, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby, according to local sources.
The roots of the Invictus Games trace back to Prince Harry’s firsthand experiences as a British Army officer. During his two combat tours in Afghanistan, he witnessed the sacrifices made by wounded servicemen and women, which inspired him to create a platform to honour their service. His journey began in 2007 when he was deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand province. On his return flight, he accompanied three seriously injured comrades, an experience that reportedly planted the seeds for the Invictus Games.
In 2012, Prince Harry met with a British group that had participated in the « Warrior Games, » a competition designed for military personnel suffering from injuries and illnesses. The following year, Prince Harry attended the Warrior Games in person and found it to be a remarkable and inspiring event in his life. This experience reinforced his belief that a similar event could have a greater impact. Consequently, he took the initiative to organise his own event in 2014 – the inaugural Invictus Games held in London – marking the beginning of this journey, as documented on the official event website. »