The coronavirus pandemic has affected yet another highly anticipated event.
Amid the ongoing global outbreak of the virus, it was announced on Thursday that the 2020 Invictus Games, the recurring international adaptive multi-sport event launched by Prince Harryin 2014, will be postponed.
The games were originally scheduled to take place this year in The Hague in May, but due to the sweeping pandemic and resulting complications with planning and participating in the event, organizers are now looking to potentially hold the games next year.
“We are now investigating all options to reschedule the Invictus Games, subject to the availability of key facilities and resources, to May or June 2021. Significant planning to scope and confirm this option is underway,” a press release read.
“All parties involved in organizing and participating in the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, including the competitors and their loved ones, the volunteers, the organisers, partners, sponsors, and its suppliers, are all facing the current impact of the pandemic. As a result, the organization of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 has become impossible.
Competitors from the 20 nations involved have been hard at work training for these Invictus Games as part of their recovery process. However, the safety and wellbeing of these wounded, injured or sick Servicemen and women, and their friends and family, is paramount,” the release explained.
“We know that not holding the Invictus Games this May will be disappointing news to the whole Invictus Family, and to all of those involved in the planning and delivery of the Games. We are very appreciative of the continued support of those who have been and continue to be involved in the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, and we remain committed to the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.”
Chris Jackson/Invictus Games Foundation/PA Wire
Amid the disappointing news, Prince Harry took to social media with an encouraging message to all participants.
“I know how disappointed you must all be. This is a focus that so many of you need,” the Duke of Sussex said in a video on Twitter. “I would encourage you to maintain that focus as best you can. The good thing is you have an extra 12 or so months to be even fitter, to get even fitter than you already are, to be at your absolute top mental and physical fitness, so, in that sense, I’m really excited about the games next year. I’m sorry that we couldn’t provide this for you.”
The royal advised, “Please look after yourselves. Please look after your families. Please look out for one another…do what you do best, which is reaching out to other people.”
TONIGHT at 10 p.m ET/7 p.m. PT: Watch Lester Holt anchor a live special on the coronavirus pandemic across NBC, MSNBC, NBC News Now and Telemundo. In collaboration with Facebook, the program will include expert analysis and health advice from our Coronavirus Crisis Team.
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