The Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded service men and women (both veterans and active duty), announced today that they will be held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando in May 2016. Athletes compete in 10 sports: track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball, indoor rowing, cycling, archery, wheelchair basketball, triathlon, wheel chair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
Spearheaded by Prince Harry, the Invictus Games were launched in London in 2014 with more than 400 competitors from 13 countries, along with 65,000 spectators. After making the decision to continue the competition periodically, the call for host cities to bid on the event went out to the world.
According to the press release from the Invictus Games Foundation, there were several requirements for potential host cities to fulfill, including appropriate venues and sport infrastructure, simple accessibility for spectators and extensive broadcast and media coverage, and a strong host family program.
“The U.S. bid for Orlando won the rights to the 2016 Games thanks to the city’s outstanding sporting facilities and great tourist infrastructure, which make it an ideal host city for both competitors and spectators,” said the press release.
In a video announcing that Orlando had been selected, Prince Harry said, “I can’t wait to see the American public supporting these inspirational en and women at the next games. And what better place to host such a great family event than Orlando.”
Photo credit: Derek Wade, UK Ministry of Defense