Ohhhh, So THAT'S How The Invictus Games Got Their Name

This article contains poetry. You will like the poetry. This is a promise.

But the first and most important thing you need to know is that "Invictus" is a Latin word which translates as invincible or -- more commonly -- unconquered.

And unconquered is a crucial term in the context of the Invictus Games.

These Games are all about the unbreakable will of the athletes, who are all servicemen and women who have suffered life-changing injuries. But how did the Games come about?

It's not often that a public figure throws themselves behind a worthy cause with such complete gusto from the ground-up. But that's the story with Prince Harry and the Invictus Games.

In 2013, the Prince visited America's Warrior Games -- a multisport event for wounded, injured or ill servicemen and women run by the US Department of Defense.

Harry was serving as a Captain and helicopter pilot at the time in the British Army, and was so inspired by the Warrior Games that he decided to create a similar event for servicemen and women from other nations too. 

Thus were the Invictus Games born.

Prince Harry shakes hands with flag bearer Ulfat Al-Zwiri of Jordan during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games 2017 in Tornto.

As the Invictus Games website says:

"The word 'invictus' means 'unconquered'. It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick service personnel and personifies what these tenacious men and women can achieve post injury.

The Games harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country."

This they most certainly do.

For the record, this year's Games in Sydney are the fourth. They start this Saturday, October 20, and run until the 27th at Sydney Olympic Park.

Oh, but we promised you poetry.  Here it is. This is the poem 'Invictus' by William Ernest Henley, which was penned in 1875 as the author was hospital-bound with tuberculosis.

As the Invictus Games website says:

"Generations have drawn on the words of William Ernest Henley’s poem for strength during times of adversity. Henley was himself an amputee and the poem reflects his long battle with illness. The title means 'unconquered' and the 16 short lines of the poem encapsulate the indefatigable human spirit, which is at the heart of the Invictus Games."

Enjoy. Because we all need more poetry on Mondays.


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.