Looking back at the Invictus Games the Hague in 2022
Over seven remarkable days, the international veteran community once again shone a spotlight on the power of sport to inspire recovery and support the rehabilitation of our wounded, injured and ill veterans. 500 tenacious competitors from around the word showed us what is possible, post-injury.
Beyond the fast and furious competition, we witnessed focus, resilience and determination. We saw incredible displays of friendship, teamwork and respect. We watched on as lives changed in front of our eyes and the power of the unconquerable human spirit shone through. Medal tallies made way for personal bests and camaraderie extended beyond team colours.
Whilst Team Australia did incredibly well, finishing the fifth Invictus Games with a plethora of medals – that’s not what the Invictus Games is about. One sentiment that continued to ring out throughout the Games at every competing sport was, ‘we are not here competing against each other, we are here competing alongside one another’ – This camaraderie shone through daily.
Family & Friends set Games apart from other international sporting competitions
The Family & Friends program at the Invictus Games has always been considered central to the experience, and sets the sporting event apart from others. It recognises the role that family and friends play in supporting veterans on their journey to recovery and rehabilitation. As we know, family is crucial, not optional in the recovery of wounded veterans.
These Games were no different, with Family & Friends from all over the world accommodated by the Organising Committee, to witness, support & be recognised throughout the week.
In the video below, Sergeant Shane Bramley, Invictus Games The Hague 2020 Co-Captain shares why family is so important to his recovery. We also hear from Shane’s family, and why sport, their attendance and the Invictus movement is so powerful.
Moving moments from the Invictus Games
One moving moment from the Games, was Invictus Games medallist Gabriel Ramon who won silver in the Men’s IF4 shot put on day three and bought his coach and friend to the podium to share his success. Ramon who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, dedicated his victory to his late father and sister who both passed away in 2020.
Supporting Team Ukraine
The entire Invictus Community also came together – the Patron, nations, competitors and families to embrace Team Ukraine who left their war-torn nation to raise awareness of what’s happening in their country and show the world their determination and resilience.
Throughout the seven days we saw competitors, crowds, teams, dignitaries, family and friends coming together around sport, respect and friendship – showing together we are unconquered.
Australia – an Invictus benchmark for the world
A powerful Conversation with The Invictus Games Foundation (IGF) took place in The Hague, featuring inspiring stories from veterans and their families and Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee.
We were delighted that our CEO Michael Hartung was invited to participate in a panel discussion with esteemed speakers. The theme was ‘Looking to the Future’ and Michael joined Conny Wenting, CEO of Invictus Games The Hague 2020 and Dominic Reid OBE, CEO of the IGF. Michael touched on the evolution from the legacy of Invictus Games Sydney 2018 to the creation of Veteran Sport Australia through the newly created franchise of #InvictusAustralia – a benchmark for the world and an example of how the Invictus spirit can shine beyond the Games.
As Dominic said, ‘There’s a fantastic model in Invictus Australia, and it’s one we want to replicate.’ It’s wonderful to have a shared purpose of transforming the world through the healing power of sport, to support our veteran community.
Patron Prince Harry wraps it up at the Closing Ceremony
At the Closing Ceremony, Patron and Founder of the Invictus Games Foundation, Prince Harry reminded us that ‘mindset is everything’ and left us with a lasting quote which summed up the Games.
“the openness and honesty of your feelings and experiences of what has happened to you, rather than what is wrong with you, provides understanding and healing.”
ANZAC dawn service above the clouds
Another extraordinary moment for Team Australia was coming together on the flight back home from the Games with a special dawn service commemorating ANZAC day above the clouds.
After an amazing Games at The Hague, we look forward to once again coming together at The Invictus Games, Dusseldorf in 2023, where we will welcome two new nations, Israel and Colombia to the Invictus family.
To catch up on all the videos from The Hague, check out our playlist on YouTube.
- Invictus Games The Hague Day Seven in 2022
- Day Five – Gut wrenching displays at The Hague Invictus Games
- Day Four Invictus Games overview – spills and splashes
- Day Three Invictus Games Wrap – Competing is reward enough
- Day Two Invictus Games Wrap – Camaraderie and the spirit of Invictus
- Day One Wrap of Invictus Games 2022
- A Royal Welcome and fond farewells for Team Australia