Team Ukraine

Team Ukraine

Slava Ukraini! Heroiam Slava! (Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!)

In 2023, the Ukrainian team consists of 25 active duty soldiers and veterans who have been wounded or injured in combat since 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Unconquered and invincible. They invariably demonstrate unconquerable strength of spirit, lust for life, faith in their abilities, and prove that nothing is impossible. These are Ukrainian servicemen and veterans who have not been conquered by the challenges of life, the battlefield, injuries, or wounds. The fact that our team is going to these competitions during the war in Ukraine, which began in 2014 and is still ongoing, proves once again the unbreakable strength and resilience of the Ukrainian nation. Ukraine is the only Invictus nation with the largest ongoing war on its territory, since World War II and the number of wounded, injured, and killed is growing daily, without exaggeration.

In addition, along with the team, our country will be represented by those who have the honor to walk alongside our participants, witness their growth, and be their support – our team behind the team: managers, coaches, assistant coaches, psychotherapists, medics and masseurs. The majority of these people are also veterans, volunteers, or even active military personnel. That’s why our team is based on “peer-to-peer” approach, when we understand each other, have similar experience, and can provide relevant assistance.

The Ukrainian team was selected in a comprehensive manner: the selection process took into account the need for psychological rehabilitation, compliance with the values of the Invictus Games, sports ethics, and sports results.

National selection in Ukraine were held in April 2023. It was truly a milestone and unique event for the Ukrainian WIS community. Ukraine showed that we are not only alive and kicking but also managed to organize a huge event during the active war — 3 intense days, 202 competitors (110 of whom participated in National selection for the first time), 9 adaptive sports, and an unbelievable atmosphere of support, friendship, sport spirit, kindness, and joy. Most participants came directly from the war zone. The selection process was based on IGF selection criteria and composed of different methods of information collection and evaluation: questionnaire, interview, medical references that verified the injuries as a direct consequence of the service, and observation(on/off the field).

The principle of working with the national team is a human-centered, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary approach: training in sports, group and individual work with therapists with combat experience, and constant support from medical staff in the training process.

Team Ukraine 2023

Sports we are competing in:

  1. Archery – 9 people
  2. Athletics – 8 people
  3. Cycling – 2 people
  4. Rowing – 14 people
  5. Powerlifting – 4 people
  6. Sitting Volleyball – 12 people
  7. Swimming – 11 people
  8. Table Tennis – 6 people
  9. Wheelchair Basketball – 11 people
  10. Wheelchair Rugby – 6 people

Our Team


The captain of this year’s team is Oleksandr Makovey. A career soldier of the Special Operations Forces, he took part in combat operations since 2014 and was at Donetsk and Luhansk airports. The period of returning to civilian life in 2020 was difficult, but he found himself in sport. With the outbreak of the full-scale war, he returned to the battlefield. On June 9, 2022, he got under a mortar attack. He considers sports to be the best medicine for rehabilitation. He has participated in all veteran sports related projects that were held in Ukraine. He was encouraged to do so by his daughter, who does fencing.

Team captain Oleksandr Makovey: “Once, it was sports that helped me come back from the war and the events I had experienced not only physically but also mentally. Everyone who joined the national team understands that the “Invictus Games” in Düsseldorf is not just about showing off or competing for medals. It is an opportunity to tell the world about Ukraine once again.”

This year’s Ukrainian team consists of 11 veterans and 14 active military personnel. Each of our participants has come either from the front lines of war or from hospitals to realize themselves in something new despite the circumstances of their lives, to set an example for others, and inspire them to recover through sports.
Each of our participants went from the decision to defend their country, the front line, hospitals, and rehabilitation to participating in the national selection and getting into the Invictus Games team. This not only helps them realize themselves in sports but also challenges them to change their ordinary lifestyle despite all the circumstances. The youngest participant, who was injured in the combat zone in 2022, is only 21 years old.

For Ukraine, the “Invictus Games” is about the future and about the growing number of people who have already found sports helpful in their rehabilitation and those who are about to do so in the future. Each member of the national team is an example and motivation for thousands of wounded men and women who are still undergoing treatment.

Semen Lagun: “Invictus Games is a breath of fresh air for me. It pulled me out of the moral abyss. I was in a state where it was difficult to focus on anything. I couldn’t return to service because I was wounded, and I couldn’t find a way to fulfill myself in life.
I simply registered and didn’t give it much importance. But I enjoyed the Time trials to the maximum. Invictus Games is a spirit where everyone has their own story. But everyone is like you, conditionally. Team sports are the ultimate thrill, an absolutely positive experience.

Honestly, it is a life-changing event. This is the benchmark that allows you to live life to the fullest.

Photos from trainings



Team UA

W/C Basketball