Invitcus and Warrior Games

  • Team Navy Brings Home 28 Medals from Warrior Games 2014 NNS 6 October 2014

Among the highlights of this year’s Warrior Games was Team Navy’s gold-medal win against the Marines in sitting volleyball Oct. 2. After two tight sets, Team Navy stormed ahead in the third set to sink the Marines 2-1 (26-24, 20-25, 15-6). It was the team’s first medal in sitting volleyball since the inception of the Warrior Games.

“I’m still on cloud nine,” said Team Navy sitting volleyball coach Rik Mullane at the conclusion of the match. “I am just so happy for these guys and girls. They worked so hard.”

LONDON – USA Team fell in straight sets to Team Britain in the sitting volleyball final here Sept. 14.

The United States team kept it close throughout and was happy to take home a silver medal, but the game meant the final event for these wounded warriors so they took a moment to reflect.

“I just realized today that the only athletes who get an opportunity to do this are athletes who compete in the Olympics and Paralympics,” said Army Sgt. Delvin Maston. “For us to be chosen, it’s an honor to put the colors on and go out and display some talent.”

USA Team took silver in all three team events: Sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

“In every sport, in the team sport aspect, I’ve noticed that they’ve been well prepared” Maston said. “Those guys were well prepared and they stuck to their plan.”

The atmosphere of the Copper Box, which was the venue for the team sports, was electric. Roughly 6000 people packed the seats and cheered for every country, in addition to their own.

Though competition was fierce throughout each game, the competitors maintain a high level of respect for each other.

“I think it’s bringing countries closer,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chad Lukkes. “I’ve met friends from every single country out here who, without this experience, I probably would’ve never met.”

The idea for the Invictus Games was created by a visit from Prince Henry of Wales to the annual Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Co. However, unlike the Warrior Games, which focus on inter-service competition, the Invictus Games focus on international competition.

The word ‘Invictus’ means ‘unconquered.’ The games were created to embody the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick warriors, and recognize the road to recovery they are on through sporting achievement.

The Invictus Games featured athletes competing in various Paralympic-style events, including swimming, track and field, seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby, among others.

“One thing that I’ve noticed is not only has this changed each and every one of our lives … but it changes the culture too,” said Army Sgt. (ret) Sean Hook. “I think this is changing the culture worldwide. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

  • Raw Video of Prince Harry playing Sitting Volleyball at the Invictus Games yahoo.
  • Corie Mapp: If I sit at home and feel sorry for myself things go downhill. 11 Sept 2014. James Gill

The Invictus Games’s Corie Mapp was blown up by the Taliban – now he’s going for gold. The Taliban may have broken Corie Mapp’s body when they blew up his military vehicle in Afghanistan in 2010, but they didn’t break his spirit. Despite losing both his legs in the explosion, Lance Corporal Mapp vowed to regain control of his life and, in simple terms, become a man of action again. He will fulfil that pact he made with himself when he competes in the Prince Harry- organised Invictus Games, as one of 400 injured servicemen and women from 14 countries around the world who are taking part. “It has given us something to be proud of, something to keep us going,” he says of the Games. Rewind four years to the moment Mapp, 36, nearly lost his life. “We ran over an IED. The explosive device demolished my vehicle, and I lost both my legs,” he says bluntly, listing the injuries he sustained: “Broken jaw, severed lip, punctured lung…” The father of three was flown from Helmand to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, where he was placed in an induced coma while doctors worked on his devastated body. When he awoke, both legs had been amputated below the knee. “I don’t remember much of that time,” he says now. A week after waking up from the coma he was sent to Headley Court in Surrey, the medical rehabilita- tion centre. And, amazingly, little more than a week after that he had started using his prosthetic legs. “I got a lot of support from charities like Help for Heroes, but it was still a difficult time,” he admits. But in 2013 he competed for the GB sitting volleyball team in the European championships, and now he’s part of the biggest British sports team ever assembled from wounded, sick or injured Armed Forces personnel. Sports include everything from archery and cycling to volleyball and athletics – Mapp calls it a “mini Olympics” for the military – and the event aims to show that the time, effort and expense it takes to rehabilitate injured soldiers is not in vain. “It’s about us being back on our feet again, having been through some difficult times,” says Mapp. “There are many people to thank for that, not least the British public, who pay taxes to see us righted again.” Mapp is still an imposing figure, barrel-chested with muscular arms. Quite useful when it comes to his sport of sitting volleyball: “It’s about upper-body strength, moving yourself around the court as fast as possible,” he explains. The Invictus Games might be for a good cause, but that doesn’t mean competition is always good-natured: “As military guys we’re all naturally competitive. Nobody goes in to a session half-hearted. We’re all trying to get the best out of each other, even though sometimes it looks like we’re just yelling at each other.” Whether injured on frontline duty like Mapp or diagnosed with illness back home, each athlete competing in the Games has been through their own private struggle. The one unifying element, however, is their desire for competition, for action. “If we sit at home, pile loads of weight on and feel sorry for ourselves, things go downhill. Sport helps me stay fit and competitive, and keeps me mentally sharp. Sport has been incredibly important for me, and for everyone competing in these Games. I desperately needed something to focus on during rehab. Sport fills a gap in my life that the Army had left.”

  • Pictures: Prince Harry visits Invictus Games athletes at Sporthouse Dagenham. 8 Sept 2014. Freddy Mayhew

Prince Harry visited athletes in training for the Invictus Games at Dagenham’s Sporthouse today

Prince Harry looks on as the German sitting volleyball team gets into trainingPrince Harry looks on as the German sitting volleyball team gets into training
  • Cast of ‘Fury’ show support for Invictus games. 5 Sept 2014. Film-news.co.uk

With just six days to go until the start of the Invictus Games, the cast of Fury are the latest to show their support for the international sporting event for wounded warriors. Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and Jon Bernthal recorded a message to camera with writer-director David Ayer as they called on members of the public to get behind the Games and support the competitors. Corie Mapp, who was a Lance Corporal in the Household Cavalry and has been selected for the British Armed Forces Sitting Volleyball team, was injured in 2010 by an IED blast in Afghanistan and lost both legs below the knee. He said “It’s amazing to see that we have the support of Hollywood stars for the Invictus Games, it makes all the difference knowing we have them cheering us on. It’s now less than a week away and I really want the British public to come out in their thousands to cheer us on. And here’s our message back to the cast of Fury: we accept the challenge USA, we’ll be bringing it!” Youtube LINK

  • Fisher House to Sponsor London Invictus Games & Fly US Military Families to London. 4 Sept 2014. PR Web.

Fisher House Foundation, the only American sponsor and the only charity sponsor of the Invictus Games, has provided flights for nearly 200 family members to attend the inaugural games to support their loved ones during their recovery. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled Veterans.

  • Warrior-Athletes Competition Inspires International Imitation. 4 Sept 2014. NAPSI

The Invictus Games The Warrior Games have become such a huge success that Britain’s Prince Harry has started his own version—the Invictus Games. One of Deloitte’s employees, Will Reynolds, who raced in last year’s Warrior Games on the Army cycling team, will participate in the first-ever Invictus Games in London this year, sponsored by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Of the similar event, the Prince, who attended Warrior Games last year, told the BBC in an interview “[I was] happy to steal it off the Americans, I think, is probably the best way of explaining it. The Americans have had the Warrior Games now for the last four and a half, five years.” For further facts, visit www.teamusa.org/warriorgames/.

  • Wounded, ill and injured Army athletes join U.S. team at inaugural Invictus Games in London. 4 Sept 2014. Army.mil

Twenty-two wounded, ill and injured Army Soldiers and Veterans will join representatives from all branches of the United States military as part of the 100-member US Team at the inaugural Invictus Games in London, Sept. 10-14, 2014. The Invictus Games were inspired by Prince Harry’s visit to the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado where a British team joined U.S. military teams in archery, shooting, cycling, swimming, track and field, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball competitions.

  • Assistant Minister for Defence – Australian Invictus Games team departs for UK. 4 Sept 2014. MILNZ

http://images.defence.gov.au/20140825raaf8157095_156.jpg

  • Britain’s Prince Harry to Compete in Invictus Games. 2 Sept 2014. Femalefirst.co.uk
  • Invictus Games official supporter tours the country with giant good luck card. 2 Sept 2014. Marianne Evans
  • BRITISH TEAM CHARTS COURSE FOR INVICTUS GAMES GOLD. 2 Sept 2014. Able magazine.

The fixture list for the blue ribbon team events at the Invictus Games, published today, reveals who the British Armed Forces team will take on at the international sports event for ‘wounded warriors’. Armed with the knowledge of who they will face on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the players are more determined than ever to put on a show for the home crowd in the Copper Box Arena. Sitting Volleyball – Sunday 14 September (Copper Box Arena) Like other nations, the British Sitting Volleyball team must first get past the preliminary rounds to make it to the Copper Box Arena. Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands lie in wait in the crucial qualifying matches but with the sport one of the most dynamic in the Paralympic programme, supporters are hedging their bets and buying tickets for Session 1 (8.30-11.30) which features the sudden-death Semi-Finals and Session 2 (13.00-16.00) which will determine who wins Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Invictus Games are being organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. More than 400 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, serving and veteran and from 13 nations, will compete in nine adaptive sports. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre will host the events thanks to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, DCMS and Sport England.

  • Guards hero Lamin pays tribute to JLR volunteers. Neil Hodgson. 1 Sept 2014
  • Festival of sport helping Afghanistan veterans combat stress. Steven Morris. 27 Aug 2014

The London event comes as figures reveal the number of Afghanistan veterans seeking help for mental health problems, like Wilson, has surged. With British troops pulling out of Afghanistan after 13 years, it is also a way of making sure the public does not forget injured personnel. Invictus Games competitors

Ex-military personnel who will be taking part in the Invictus Games. From left: Paul Wilson, Andy Phillips, Danni Hampson-Carroll, Susan Cook and Mary Wilson. Photograph: Sam Frost

A keen footballer when she was younger, Hampson-Carroll has now found a love of sitting volleyball. “Until I found the sport I was suffering mentally. I was very low. There’s no cure for what I have, it’s just a case of managing it. But volleyball has given me back my mental well-being. Sport has always given me some mind space and that’s what I’ve got back. The games are everything to me,” she says.

  • Town hosts stars of games for service personnel. Northatnstelegraph. 22 Aug 2014.
  • BBC to broadcast inaugural Invictus Games. Sport-onthebox.com. 21 Aug 2014.
  • Wounded warrior athletes celebrate 100 days until British Invictus Games
  • 100 days until the inaugural Invictus Games. Cindy Stockman
    • British Embassy Hosts Invictus Games Athletes. American Forces Press Service. 2 June 2014
    British Ambassador to the United States Sir Peter Westmacott hosted 20 of America’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans who will shortly participate in the Invictus Games to be held in London in September. The May 30 reception at the British Embassy, attended by athletes and those who are supporting the athletes on their road to these international games, was an expression of the camaraderie both nations share on and off the battlefield, embassy officials said. Active duty and veteran service members from more than a dozen countries whose troops have fought together recently will participate in the games. The reception was an opportunity to celebrate their achievements, recognize the power of sport as a tool for rehabilitating the wounded, and look forward to the games, officials said. “The inaugural Invictus Games in London will be a unique celebration of the courage and dedication of members of our armed services who have been wounded serving their country and defending our values,” Westmacott said. “Even better, teams from 12 other allied nations will be joining them. I have had the privilege of joining Prince Harry at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, which inspired the Invictus Games, and of hosting many wounded warriors at my home. So I have heard what they have been through and seen first-hand some of the extraordinary things they’re capable of. We are in for a wonderful Games.” In February, the British Defense Ministry invited the United States to participate in the Invictus Games. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accepted the invitation on behalf of the United States and joined in supporting the international effort to bring attention to the critical role military adaptive sports plays in the rehabilitation of recovering service members. “The Invictus Games demonstrate the power of ability over disability and an acknowledgment of all that is good about our profession,” Dempsey said. “Our partnership with Great Britain as they host these games and working together with wounded warriors over the past decade, has clearly provided a special camaraderie for all involved.” Military adaptive sports continue to benefit the rehabilitation of wounded, ill, and injured service members, officials said, noting that participation improves their self-image, self-esteem, leadership, and quality of life. One hundred American active duty and veteran wounded, ill and injured service members will participate in athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball and a driving challenge at Invictus. America’s athletes were selected during trials held by each military service and U.S. Special Operations Command earlier this year. “The Invictus Games will be a great opportunity for our service members to demonstrate their personal courage and determination on the same playing field as their fellow military team members from many nations,” said Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. “Their competition is a testimony to the great care they have received within the Military Health System, and it will be an honor to watch them compete.” The Office of Warrior Care Policy spearheads the Defense Department’s program for the rehabilitation of America’s wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans through the Military Adaptive Sports Program. The program provides recreational activities and competitive opportunities to all recovering service members to improve their physical and mental quality of life through the continuum of recovery, rehabilitation and transition. “I’ve always been competitive. When your life changes as dramatically as mine, there’s a chance you might give up,” said Invictus athlete Air Force Tech. Sgt. Israel Del Toro, who was injured in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan. “I never let that happen to me, and I never will. Everyone knows if you quit before you start, you’re done. I will never let the guys who set that bomb get the satisfaction that they ruined my life.” The Invictus Games, inspired by Prince Harry’s visit to the 2013 American Warrior Games, will bring teams from 13 nations to London. The Sept. 10-14 event is designed to use the power of sports to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider public understanding of the incredible grit, determination, perseverance and contagious positive attitudes of the world’s warriors, officials said. The event will be held in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park — the venue for the London 2012 Olympics — and at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
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  • Prince Harry beats drum for Invictus games 15 May 2014
  • Prince Harry’s Invictus Games tickets to go on sale Friday. 12 May 2014 By Emily Goddard
  • Prince Harry: Join me in cheering on these inspirational men and women 12th May 2014. MIRANDA BRYANT 
  • Prince Harry drops in on British team hopefuls as selection process begins for Invictus Games Tuesday, 29 April 2014 By Gary Anderson
  • Prince Harry launches ‘Invictus Games’ for wounded vets. Maria Puente, USA TODAY March 6, 2014
  • Prince Harry launches Invictus Games for injured troops at Olympic Park. Prince says he hopes championship modelled on US Warrior Games will stop soldiers being forgotten as Afghan war ends. theguardian.com, Thursday 6 March 2014
  • Prince Harry launches ‘Invictus Games’ for wounded veterans Associated Press March 6, 2014,
  • Prince Harry cheats at sitting volleyball Report by Jeremy Barnes, Video by Tom Ellis 06 March 2014
  • Prince Harry launches British version of US Paralympic style games for injured war heroes: ‘It was such a good idea by the Americans – we nicked it’Read more:  6 March 2014
  • Prince Harry launches new Paralympic-style sporting championship for injured servicemen and women Mar 06, 2014 By Nigel Atkins http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/prince-harry-launches-invictus-games-3212886#ixzz35AsfW06c
  • Prince Harry launches Paralympic-style games for injured soldiers Prince Harry has launched a new sporting championship for injured servicemen and women today. By: Richard Palmer, Royal Editor  March 6, 2014
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