Transcript of Invictus Games Sydney 2018 video

Man: Out of the night that covers me. Black as the pit from pole to pole. I thank whatever gods may be. For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance. I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance. My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears. Looms but the Horror of the shade. And yet the menace of the years. Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate. How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.

[Crowd cheering, applause]

HRH The Duke of Sussex [Prince Harry]: Invictus is about the dedication of the men and women who served their countries, confronted hardship and refused to be defined by their injuries. Invictus is about the families and friends who face the shock of learning that their loved ones have been injured or fallen ill, and then rally to support them on their journey of recovery. And above all, Invictus is about the example to the world that all servicemen and women, injured or not, provide about the importance of service and duty.

[Crowd cheering, applause]

Craig McGrath: The Invictus Games, what does it mean to me? It's...it's an opportunity to come together with some...with guys that I've served with. It's an opportunity to compete in an environment with the other coalition countries that are there.

Served 23 years in the Australian Army. I spent 22 years of those in Special Forces. I spent a lot of time away from my family over that time and it was very difficult. I had numerous injuries that have precluded me from staying in the military, so I've had to leave. And there's a lot of things that I physically can't do that I used to be able to do.

Patrick Kidd: The Invictus Games were started in 2014 by Prince Harry, back in London. And most simply put, the Invictus Games are about promoting and stimulating rehabilitation from injury and illness by using sport as its central platform. And, really, what they do is they provide this incredible opportunity for people to take themselves away from their beds, to take themselves away from their illness, to focus on things other than just themselves, and using sport as its platform to encourage them to reach out, connect with other people, play sport, be active. And when that happens, people start to reinvent themselves and find their way forwards when otherwise they're sometimes less clear about how to necessarily re-engage with their communities.

So 'invictus' is the Latin word meaning 'unconquered' that defines the people who participate in these Games, because each and every one of them have been impacted by their service. They've suffered mental trauma and sickness.

Ian Thorpe: This is the reason why sport is so important for people who have been wounded on the battlefield or struggle to be able to get out of home because of some of the mental health issues that they're facing. And when you see an improvement, you know it was because of the hard work that you put into it rather than what you can't do.

Craig McGrath: I felt a little conquered when I got injured. And I felt like...that I'd failed in some way. And the Games reminds me that that's not necessarily the case. I'm still here. I'm able to adapt and try new things. It gives us an opportunity to be good at something again.

Patrick Kidd: They've made the conscious choice to get up, play sport, connect with other people and get themselves moving forward.

Craig McGrath: Being in the military was one part of your life. And nice to have that feeling again, that I can be good at something and practise and be better.

Patrick Kidd: So the Invictus Games brings together 500 competitors from 18 different nations. The decision as to who gets to the Games, who's selected to compete for their nation at the Games, is very much down to each of the nations. And the principle that they should follow is about looking at that individual in his own right and saying, "Which person is going to benefit the most from the experience?"

[Focused music]

[Song: Whoa-oh-oh, oh-oh Whoa-oh-oh Whoa-oh-oh, oh-oh Whoa-oh-oh...]

Patrick Kidd: So I hope that by your involvement in these Games, by watching, by being interested in them, by understanding what they're about is that you, yourself, can understand better what it means to serve in the nation's military and how we can all support them as we go forward.

HRH The Duke of Sussex: These Games are not about gold, silver or bronze medals. They never have been. They're about the journey that you and your families have made to the start line.

[Crowd cheering]

Patrick Kidd: The inspiration comes from seeing what it is people can do when they decide that they're going to do it. It's their own personal journey with themselves and with others to absolutely live to their potential. And then you see the connection that comes from that person with their families, with their support networks and you see the strength of people who connect and do things together. And you sit in the stands and you look at it and every...every event that you see, you'll have a tear in your eye because it could be you who's there and it's not. But actually what you're seeing in front of you is not something you should ever feel sorry for. They're not people who want your sympathy. But what you're seeing are people who are inspirational and they are things that we should celebrate.

[Dynamic music]

Ian Thorpe: They're going to love the venues and also being in the city. I just hope that everyone is able to get behind it as much as we expect them to.


Craig McGrath: If people can get out and see some of the wheelchair sports, they're a fantastic sport to watch. I know the first time I saw it played, I was amazed at how skilful and the speed and intensity of the game. It was quite impressive. The sailing on the harbour and the cycling around the harbour will be a great event to watch. Some of the people that are in the adaptive cycling, it's pretty inspirational to see what these people can do regardless of what's happened to them.


Patrick Kidd: Invictus Games is an unbelievable platform that will touch every Australian home when the Games are held here in October this year. And the Games will showcase these amazing stories from across the world of people who overcome mental health issues, physical health issues. We can celebrate those stories. Those stories will inspire a nation about what they can do.

[Song: Whoa-oh-oh Whoa-oh, oh-whoa-oh-oh.]

End of transcript.

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