The Warrior GamesThe inspiration behind HRH Prince Harry’s Invictus Games, was the Warrior Games in the US, which were first staged in 2010. Like the Invictus Games, the Warrior Games is a multi-sport competition for injured or ill service personnel and veterans. The organisational body behind it is the United States Department of Defense (DoD).

The inaugural Warrior Games included disciplines such as cycling, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, archery, swimming, and various track and field events. The event ran from the opening ceremony on May 10th to the closing ceremony on the evening of May 14th, 2010. The aim was, and still is, to celebrate the achievements of its participants, recognise their service, and help in their rehabilitation. The first games took place in Colorado Springs, as did the next three.

Athletes from all branches of the armed services take part in the Warrior Games, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. In 2010, around 200 athletes took part in the games.

It was the 2013 Warrior Games that inspired Prince Harry of the UK, to create the Invictus Games. He opened the games that year, when he was serving in the British Army.

In 2015, the Warrior Games took place at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Notably, members of the British Armed Forces competed, just as US Forces took part in the first Invictus Games in London, in 2014. British Armed Forces finished third in the gold medal stakes behind the US Army and Marine Corps. Other participants were the US Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command.

By 2016, 250 athletes were competing in the Warrior Games, which were held between June 15th and June 21st, at West Point, New York.

Going from strength to strength, the 2017 Warrior Games welcomes the Australian Defence Force into the competition. Notably, these games will be held in downtown Chicago, bringing more publicity than ever before to the event as it grows in scope and stature.