Named after William Ernest Henley’s acclaimed poem, the Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen.
Events range from athletics to wheelchair rugby, and archery to wheelchair basketball.
Private Jaco van Gass and Marine Luke Darlington both suffered life-changing injuries in the field. Van Gass retained severe injuries while serving in Afghanistan. He hopes to cycle for the British Armed Forces team at the Games.
Darlington has already represented the British Armed forces at the US Warrior Games and hopes to compete in sitting volleyball, swimming and cycling in September’s Games. He suffered a penetrating brain injury, with retained shrapnel.
Van Gass spoke to euronews ahead of the competition.
“I was in a hospital bed and I was looking down on myself. And I’d lost my arm and I knew that, but what I wasn’t aware of was all the other injuries I sustained,” he said. “You know, the significant damage to my left leg and other parts of my body. And there was really a question of where do I go from here?
“Just never give up. Really, just never give up. It’s so important to keep your mind active. If you can keep your mind active you can keep your body active. And, yet again, you will just get stronger and fitter. And just continue to pursue anything you put your mind to, really.”
As part of their training routine, Van Gass and Darlington have been undergoing cryotherapy treatment; applying temperatures of as low as minus 40 degrees to their bodies.
To see if it helps, tune in to the euronews coverage of the Games, from September 10-14.