More than 550 “wounded warriors” are gathered in Toronto, Ontario this week, to compete in the Invictus Games.
The competitors are soldiers who became injured during their military service. Many of them are missing a limb (arm or leg), for instance, and many others have PTSI (post traumatic stress injury) which is a mental health condition caused by trauma.
The servicemen and servicewomen are from 17 nations including Canada the US, the UK, Afghanistan and Australia. There are 12 sports in the Games, some of them adapted to enable people with injuries to be able to play the sport at a competitive level. For instance, wheelchair tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
The Games kicked off last Saturday with a star-studded opening ceremony, with performances by musicians Alessia Cara, Sarah McLachlan and The Tenors.
“Invictus is about the dedication of the men and women who served their countries, confronted hardship and refused to be defined by their injuries,” said Britain’s Prince Harry at the opening ceremony, held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Prince Harry began the Invictus Games in 2014, after he flew with some injured British soldiers and wondered if there was something he could do to help them and others like them.
The Invictus Games are more than a sporting competition. They are a form of “rehabilitative therapy,” which means that they can help people recover from their injuries. For instance, many soldiers who are seriously injured may worry that they can’t meaningfully contribute to society. Participating in high-level sports competition can help their physical and mental strength.
The competitions are being held in locations across Toronto including Nathan Phillips Square, the Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Some of the events, including wheelchair tennis, are free to the public.
“Invictus” is Latin for “unconquered.” It comes from a poem by William Ernest Henley. The Invictus Games are on now until Sept. 30.
The official website of the 2017 Invictus Games.
More information about all of the Invictus sports (and their adapted rules): archery, athletics, cycling, golf, indoor rowing, Jagual Land Rover Driving Challenge, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
By Kathleen Tilly
The article explains that the athletes competing in the Invictus Games, need to prepare physically and mentally. It states, “Participating in high-level sports competition can help their physical and mental strength.”
We often think of athletes training their muscles and body, but we rarely think of them training their brains. Why do you think professional sport competitions, such as the Invictus Games, require athletes have both strong bodies and minds?
The poem, Invictus, includes the lines “I am master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul.” What do you think those lines mean? Why do you think the poem is fitting for the Invictus Games?
Language Feature: Latin
The word, “Invictus” is Latin for “unconquered.” Latin is the ancient language of Rome and its empire. Many of our English words come from Latin. For example, the English word “school” comes from the Latin word, “schola.”
Do you know what the following Latin words are in English?