By Tahiat Mahboob  

When it comes to philanthropy, Prince Harry has been taking inspiration from his late mother, Princess Diana. After a trip to Lesotho to honour her concern for AIDs sufferers, he founded Sentebale to help children in Lesotho and Botswana impacted by extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At the time he was 21.

Now, more than a decade later, the young royal is involved with several charities and patronages, as seen in the documentary The Royal Good Guys

In the course of serving in the army and completing two tours of Afghanistan, Prince Harry’s interaction with injured veterans left its mark. “It’s a real passion for him to prove to the world and to employers that those men and women are not fit for the scrap heap. They can still lead fulfilling lives despite their injuries.” says royal biographer Penny Junor.

The Invictus Games, a more recent undertaking goes to the heart of those sentiments. The adaptive sports tournament advances the interests of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women from many countries.

In 2017, Toronto will host the third Invictus Games between September 23-30, giving Canadians the opportunity to commemorate injured veterans, along with their families. Prince Harry, who will be in attendance, wrote in an article: “I know Canadians are huge supporters of the armed forces and I’m confident that Toronto will put on an incredible show.” As the city prepares for the tournament, here are ten things you should know about the Invictus Games.

1. In 2013, when Prince Harry attended the Warrior Games in Colorado, a Paralympic-style sporting event for wounded military personnel, he was inspired to create an international version. A year later the Invictus Games were born.

2. “Invictus” is Latin for  “unconquered.”

3. The Invictus Games motto “I Am,” was inspired by the last two lines of the poem Invictus, by English poet William Ernest Henley:
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

4. In Fall 2014, London hosted the inaugural Invictus Games, drawing 400 competitors from 13 nations.

5. The 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto will commemorate three milestones: Canada's 150th birthday, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Dieppe.

6. The 2017 games will feature a dozen adaptive sports: archery, athletics, driving challenge, indoor rowing, powerlifting, cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, and golf — the newest addition to the sports line up.

7. The 2017 games will feature more than 550 competitors from 17 participating allied nations. Romania and Ukraine are the newest participating nations.

8. The federal government is spending up to $17.5 million on the tournament. The Ontario government’s contribution will be $10 million. And Toronto will enlist 1500 volunteers to help out with the tournament at nine different locations.

9. Team Canada will have 90 competitors.

10. The two-hour opening ceremony will be a star-studded event featuring Alessia Cara, Sarah McLachlan, The Tenors, Quebec band La Bottine Souriante, and Laura Wright.

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