The 2020 Invictus Games, originally scheduled to take place in the Hague, the Netherlands this May, joined a growing list of major events that have been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Games were founded by Prince Harry a few years back, after the royal was inspired by the Warrior Games, an adapted sporting competition for U.S. for wounded American servicemen and women, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Invictus Games are international, and have grown since the first edition back in 2014. The most recent Games were held in Sydney, Australia, and saw 500 competitors from 18 nations.
But today, less than two months before the 2020 Games were slated to kick off, the organization released a statement saying that given the COVID-19 outbreak, they were "forced to conclude" that the event needed to be rescheduled. "We are now investigating all options to reschedule the Invictus Games, subject to the availability of key facilities and resources, to May or June 2021," the statement added.
Soon after the statement was issued, a personal video from Prince Harry was shared on the Games' 2020 Twitter account. "This was an incredibly difficult decision for all of us to have to make," he says in the clip. Later, he implored participants to take care of themselves and each other in these difficult times.
"Do what you do best, which is reaching out to other people—be it those who still wear the uniform, those that used to wear the uniform, or just those people in your community who may be suffering or may be vulnerable during this period."
The @WeAreInvictus patron, the #DukeofSussex, has released a video message to the #InvictusGames competitors recognising their disappointment at the news, but that it's the best outcome for their safety and recovery. #CoronavirusUpdate #IG2020 #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/SLbT7QOl7D— Invictus Games The Hague 2020 (@InvictusGamesNL) March 19, 2020
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