„The Invictus Games
are a movement”

Düsseldorf praised as wonderful host

The CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation made up a positive interim balance of INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 presented by Boeing and gave a hopeful outlook on the future of the Invictus Games movement.

The Invictus Games Foundation is the owner of the Invictus Games brand and organises the Games together with the host countries. The patron is Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. Dominic Reid, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation, used the Invictus Village stage in sunny weather to forge a bridge from the Games’ humble beginnings to a worldwide movement.

It all began with the horrified Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex: as a soldier, he had to end his deployment in Afghanistan in 2013 because it had been leaked to the press, making him a security risk for his unit. Three seriously wounded soldiers were carried on the plane home.

This left a lasting impression on Prince Harry and a desire to help his comrades and their families. The original plan was to hold a one-off Invictus Games in London in 2014. “The huge success and the realisation that the suffering of wounded and traumatised servicemen and women and their families is not removed by a one-off good action led to the Invictus Games being made a biennial event. Structuring and organising the Games meant hard work for the Foundation at first,” Reid explained.

The organisers quickly realised that the Invictus Games also had a social impact through the enthusiasm and a positive effect on those involved and their families. “Especially in Düsseldorf, which has presented itself as a wonderful host, it has become clear that the relationship between the German society and the military has also noticeably improved through the visible enthusiasm for the Invictus Games,” Dominic Reid stated.

Every place where the Games are held had its own atmosphere. “In Düsseldorf, it is the Rhenish warmth with which competitors, their friends and families as well as the volunteers are welcomed,” said Reid. The fact that Israel has been invited to Germany for the Invictus Games for the first time is highly symbolic and deepens the friendship between the two nations, Reid added. There are now 21 countries participating in the Invictus Games. In addition to Israel, Colombia and Nigeria are taking part for the first time.

Dominic Reid is very much looking forward to the upcoming Games in Canada, where the winter sports of skiing, cross-country skiing, skeleton, and wheelchair curling will first be taking place. Dominic Reid explained that “from 6 to 17 February 2025 in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada, the Invictus Games will exist for more than ten years.”

This is a milestone in the history of our movement. Our goal is to strengthen the Foundation in such a way that the Games take place every two years, for the idea of sport to rehabilitate wounded servicemen and women. This also includes activities besides the Invictus Games, such as expeditions, competitions and challenges we offer for wounded servicemen and women.”

Written by: Sönke Willms-Heyng