By Connecting Vets Staff
WASHINGTON — Approximately 550 competitors from 17 nations will compete in 12 adaptive sports, including wheelchair rugby, swimming, and for the first time ever, golf, at this year’s Invictus Games in Toronto.
The international adaptive sports competition was founded by Prince Harry in 2014 and modeled after the Warrior Games hosted by the Department of Defense.
Below is a description of the adaptive sports that wounded service members and veterans will compete in at this year’s Invictus Games.
This sport is fully integrated, being played among able-bodied competitors as well as those of varying physical disabilities, such as a spinal cord injury or amputation.
Competitors may shoot while standing, seated in a wheelchair or on a stool.
The recurve and compound bow archers aim at 40-centimetre targets set 18 meters from the shooting line.
Novice recurve archers (those who have been participating in archery for less than a year) shoot at 60-centimetre targets.
Archery features individual events for men and women and a mixed team event.
Athletics consists of competition on the track and throwing events in the field.
The events are divided by the functional categorization of the competitors and as a result, some competitors use racing chairs, prostheses and/or the guidance of a sighted person.
The track events cover distances from 100 to 1,500 meters and include the dramatic 4 x 100 meter mixed relay while the field events include both shot put and discus.
Competitors, depending on their adaptive requirements and categories, compete on either a road bike, handcycle, recumbent or tandem bike.
In the Time Trial, athletes start individually at set intervals in a race against the clock; the fastest time over the set distance wins. In the Criterium, cyclists begin en masse and complete several laps of a designed circuit course over a set time period.
Indoor rowing takes place on an indoor machine simulator mimicking the actions of watercraft rowing. This sport focuses on speed, power, and endurance. The indoor rowing competition features two races: the one-minute sprint and the four-minute endurance, where men and women compete separately.
These events use a series of adaptive handgrips and modified seats to best suit the competitors’ abilities as they compete in six categories.
Powerlifting is a strength competition that sees competitors assume the bench press position lying on a bench with head and body (including buttocks) touching the bench. The lifter brings the weighted bar down to his or her chest, then presses it upwards in an attempt to hold the bar steady with straight arms.
Each competitor will get three lifts total. They must choose which weight they want to attempt to lift. Once they choose a weight for their first lift, they can keep the weight the same or increase it for their final two lifts. Men and women compete separately and in different weight classes.
Once they choose a weight for their first lift, they can keep the weight the same or increase it for their final two lifts. Men and women compete separately and in different weight classes.
The 2017 Invictus Games will see the introduction of golf to the Games’ sports program for the first time. The golf competition includes golfers of all abilities competing together. Each competitor established playing handicap and scoring is factored into a Net Stableford scoring system. Men and women compete separately in individual single 18-hole rounds of golf.
This sport is played among two teams with competitors of varying disabilities on a smaller court with a lower net. Similar to traditional volleyball, competitors hit the ball over the net with the objective of landing it in the opposing team’s half of the court.
These competitors display all the skills in digging, passing, setting, hitting and blocking that are required of competition at the highest level. As the teams of six, men and women together, work to keep the ball from landing on their court while trying to force the ball onto their opponent’s side of the court, they must keep at least one buttock on the floor at all times when contacting the ball.
Para Ice Hockey
A fast-paced, highly physical sport, Para ice hockey is played by male and female athletes with a physical impairment in the lower part of the body. It follows the rules of the ice hockey with modifications.
Instead of skates, players use double-blade sledges that allow the puck to pass beneath. Players use two sticks, which have a spike-end for pushing and a blade-end for shooting. Each team attempts to outscore its opponent by shooting the puck across the ice and into the opposing team’s goal while preventing the opposing team from scoring. Six players (including the goalkeeper) from each team are on the ice at one time. Games consist of three 15-minute periods.
Both an individual and team sport, competitors use three well-known techniques: breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle. Each technique will have a 50-meter race, while freestyle will also include a 100-meter race. Additionally, the mixed relay will compete in a 4 x 50-meter freestyle format event.
Swimmers compete in a variety of categories with different adaptations to ability. For example, swimmers can begin races in the water, or either sitting or standing on the starting platform.
The number of players on the court, the ball and the height of the hoop in wheelchair basketball are all familiar to basketball fans, as is the scoring, with competitors attempting free throws for one point, regular field goals for two- and three-point shots from beyond the painted arc.
Wheelchair basketball competitors also move the ball around the court by passing or dribbling, except that holding the ball for more than two pushes on the chair’s wheels—instead of steps—results in a traveling violation.
Men and women compete together on their nation’s team.
Any sport originally coined “murderball” has excitement written all over it.
Wheelchair rugby is a team sport played indoors on a hardwood court with men and women competing together.
Contact between wheelchairs is allowed and players frequently collide as they attempt to stop their opponents and take control of the ball.
Competitors work with teammates to score goals by advancing the ball to the opponent’s goal line. They carry, pass or dribble the ball—a volleyball—in what is always a fast-paced and often physical contest.
The wheelchair tennis court, net, scoring, and equipment look perfectly familiar to tennis fans.
The only difference is that competitors are in wheelchairs and the ball can bounce twice instead of once before a return. Open to all competitors, wheelchair tennis provides all of the tension and excitement of a sport where an entire match can turn on a single point or a single shot, and where the margin of victory and defeat can be the sliver of daylight that turns a perfectly struck winner into a ball called out.
Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge
The Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge is a test of skill and precision where two participants from each nation will be required to display the best teamwork, cohesion and communication to take home the gold medal. Taking on a Jaguar and a Land Rover challenge, the courses are designed for nations to work as a team while taking vehicles through precision gates. Though teams are timed, accurate driving will produce better results than speed alone. The Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge provides the first medals of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.
Though teams are timed, accurate driving will produce better results than speed alone. The Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge provides the first medals of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.