The Invictus Games is a sporting event created by Prince Harry, in which individuals in the armed services who are wounded, injured or sick compete in several different sports, including wheelchair basketball and indoor rowing.
The first Invictus Games took place in London in 2014, with subsequent Games taking place in the US, Canada and Australia.
The 2020 Invictus Games was due to take place in The Hague, Netherlands in May 2020, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of the event’s postponement, several former Invictus Games competitors decided to team up to take part in a virtual challenge called the At Home Superhero Tri, challenging themselves to complete a triathlon of 2020km distance in honour of the 2020 postponed Invictus Games, with an extra 1km added on to mark the Games being moved to 2021.
Prince Harry recently took part in a video call with the team, which included Jen Warren from the UK, Bruno Gruevremont from Canada, Mark Reidy from Australia and JJ Chalmers from the UK, who was their team captain.
During their conversation, the duke praised the team on their "resilience" while emphasising how their decision to take part in the triathlon challenge during lockdown gave them an opportunity to work on both their physical and “mental fitness”, and to have a “goal and a purpose and to some extent a distraction from the day to day life”.
He highlighted how setting an exercise goal, whether a person does their workout inside our outside, can help “reduce stress”, as “you can actually pedal it or sweat it out of you”.
“It’s not just being part of the Invictus Games and on a global stage, it is the simplest of things but the things that anyone can do, grab a bike, grab a machine, go for a run, whatever it is.”
The Duke of Sussex added that amid the coronavirus pandemic, “what better time” to place focus on the former Invictus Games competitors “to say, ‘This is what happened in my life, that was the dark place that I was in, but look where I am now’.”
He also praised the teammates on the banter they share with one another and the support they demonstrate to each other, as they know they have “at least a handful of people that you can each out to” if they are in need of help and comfort.
“You know that if you haven’t heard from someone fo a while that the first thing you need to do is check in on them, because just because your life is sort of on track and everything’s going according to plan, there’s other people that you may not have heard of and you check in, you might get the answer of ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’ but you guys are the ones that are going to dig a little bit deeper and say, ‘Fine is not the answer that I was looking for. I’m actually asking how you are’,” he said.
“It’s stressful. The injuries that you guys have sustained anyway is one part of it, but then how everybody’s being forced to live now, it’s really really different.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently set up a new permanent home in Santa Barbara, California, having been previously living in Los Angeles.