INVICTUS GAMES THE HAGUE 202One   May 29 – June 05, 2021   THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS

Protocols of the virtual competition "Unconquered 2.0" have been published

The organizers of the competition determined the winners and published the protocols of the virtual competition "Unconquered 2.0".

Judges of the virtual competition 'Unconquered 2.0" are coaches of the Invictus Games Team Ukraine and well-known Ukrainian athletes:

- Vasyl Virastyuk, the strongest man of the world 

- Natalia Krushynska, Master of Sports of Ukraine, World Class, track and field, 

- Sergey Putsov, Master of Sports of Ukraine, indoor rowing

- Vadym Dombrovskyi,  Master of Sports of Ukraine,  swimming

- Olesya Shah,  archery coach of Invictus Games Team Ukraine

- Serhiy Konyushok, Chief Judge of the competition, President of the Federation of Strongmen of Ukraine
 

The videos submitted by the competitors are posted on the Invictus Games Team Ukraine YouTube channel.

Unconquered 2.0 judges took into account the technical correctness of the exercise and compliance with the requirements for video recording ensuring transparency of the competition.

Following judges' evaluations, the winners of Unconquered 2.0 were determined. The protocols of the competition can be found at the link in the "Online competition" section of the site

UNCONQUERED 2.0. - UKRAINE’S FIRST MULTISPORT ONLINE COMPETITION FOR WOUNDED SERVICEMEN AND VETERANS

The Organizing Committee of the Invictus Games in Ukraine is happy to announce the start of the first online competition for wounded servicemen and veterans – "Unconquered 2.0."

Due to the quarantine restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible to hold competitions in its usual format in 2020. Still, we remain a community of the unconquered, who can’t be stopped by external obstacles, and we will keep ensuring the continuity of the rehabilitation and adaptation process of wounded veterans and servicemen through their involvement in sports no matter what. In other words, we are creating new formats and new opportunities.

THAT IS WHY WE ANNOUNCE UNCONQUERED 2.0 ONLINE!

Unconquered 2.0 is the first multi-sport online competition in Ukraine aimed at promoting the recovery and rehabilitation of war veterans and active servicemen, members of the security and defense sector of Ukraine and volunteer groups, who have suffered from injuries, mutilations, contusions or other diseases received during the time or as a result of their service in a combat zone.

As a special courtesy to the US AF Wounded Warrior Program we have extended the invitation to the wounded veterans and active duty servicemen of the US Air Force. This is our way of appreciating and thanking the US AF Wounded Warrior Program for continuous support of Ukrainian Invictus Games Team and wounded warriors of Ukraine through these difficult times of COVID-19 world pandemic.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Unconquered 2.0 ONLINE is the modern format of multi-sport competition for wounded servicemen and veterans.

The online format implies that the competition takes place virtually; participants choose the location of his or her performance by themselves. All you need to participate is the will to compete and a digital device to record your result.

Unconquered 2.0 ONLINE competitions will include six sports events: track and field, powerlifting, archery, swimming, indoor rowing and road cycling. Detailed information about the ONLINE competition can be found here.

Registration for the Unconquered 2.0 ONLINE participants will take place between October 12 and October 31, 2020 at the link.

The virtual competition itself will be held between October 31 and November 29, 2020. On December 13, 2020, the results of Ukraine’s first Unconquered 2.0 Online Sport Competition in each discipline will be officially announced live on the Invictus Games Team Ukraine social media platforms on Facebook and YouTube. Medals will be sent to all participants.

This event has no analogs in Ukraine: neither in the military, nor Paralympic, nor Olympic sport community. Unconquered 2.0. Online Sport Competition is the unique cohesion of people whose personal rehabilitation and social adaptation stories will become motivating examples to follow for others.

Invictus Games the Hague 2020 were postponed, but the work of Ukrainian organizing committee and the Team Ukraine continues

On March 19, the Invictus Games Foundation announced that the Invictus Games the Hague 2020 will be rescheduled. The Games will take place in May or June 2021.

Despite the postponement, the work of the Ukrainian organizing committee will continue. During 2020 organizing committee will work hard to ensure proper training of the team within the COVID-19 restrictions. It is expected that several training camps will be conducted as soon as sports facilities are open to the public. In the mean time Team Ukraine continues working individually at the place of their residence with distant support of their coaches and psychologists. 

 

Oksana Horbach, Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager and director of the Center for strategic communications 'StratCom Ukraine': 'Despite the fact that the Games are postponed, we continue working, we do not stop helping and supporting our team and WIS community. Our first priority is the physical and mental health of our Team members. We intend to continue their training as soon as possible, as soon as it is safe to be in public places and sports facilities are open again. We intend to host our first wheelchair basketball training camps this year - of course, as soon as it is safe. We intend to continue caring for our WIS community as well. Particularly, recently, the US AF Wounded Warrior Program presented to us a mentorship program  'US AF Sport Ambassadors', the concept of which we believe has a great potential in Ukraine, epsecially with WIS sport rehabilitation programs in more remote communities. We intend to work on this program and launch the pilot later this year. The new date of the Games is just a new date. We keep on moving, continue training and making plans. COVID-19 will go away eventually, it's up to us to  adapt to the new work conditions while preserving our objective in focus - sport rehabiliation, individual recovery and social integration of team members and our WIS community.'

The Invictus Games the Hague rescheduled

In light of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, the Board of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, along with the Invictus Games Foundation, are forced to conclude that organising the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, can no longer take place as planned from 9 to 16 May 2020.

The expected date of the Invictus Games the Hague is May-June 2021. The exact dates will depend on the availability of the necessary sports facilities and resources in the Netherlands.

Tomorrow, March 20, the Ukrainian organizing committee o will hold a meeting to determine further steps to prepare the national team for Invictus Games the Hague in 2021.

On March 13, the WHO declared Europe the center of the pandemic of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV). Governments in all European countries are taking unprecedented measures to prevent mass disease - closing borders, canceling mass events, restricting transport and quarantining. Most of these restrictions now apply in Ukraine.

Workshop on sports rehabilitation and development of adaptive sports in Ukraine

On February 19, a meeting was held in Kyiv at the initiative of Oksana Horbach, Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager and director of the Center for Strategic Communications "Stratcom Ukraine" between representatives of government agencies involved in sports rehabilitation of veterans in Ukraine. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange experiences with international partners and discuss current issues in the field of rehabilitation of veterans and the development of adaptive sports.

At the beginning of the workshop, Marsha Gonzalez, 23-year Air Force veteran, Branch Chief Warrior Care Support for US Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, managing 12 programs that provide non-medical support services to over 10,000 recovering service members, their families, and caregivers; Team Manager for the US Team since the first Invictus Games in 2014., shared her country's experience in addressing the issue of sports rehabilitation for veterans. Marsha noted that 10 years ago, the USA faced similar problems in the field of rehabilitation, which are relevant for Ukraine today. The representative of the US delegation stressed the importance of cooperation, explaining that the desired result can be achieved only by joining forces: "Recovery and rehabilitation is a team sport in which no one plays alone."

Oksana Kolyada, Minister for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, spoke about the steps already taken by the Ministry of Veterans: “We have provided sports rehabilitation in the state target program. The decree on the status of veterans, which also contains a considerable block in this area. The main thing is to interest and involve in the joint work and representatives of MKMS, institutions of physical culture and sports, invasport and others.

Vyacheslav Chernenko, director of the Ukrainian Medical Center for Sports Medicine of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, noted that there are 433 specialists in physical rehabilitation medicine in Ukraine. If necessary, they are ready to learn from the experience of international partners and then teach Ukrainian colleagues: “We must meet the new requirements of modern rehabilitation medicine. And we will develop. We must develop. " The speaker also suggested using the rehabilitation facilities that already exist in the country, but transforming them in accordance with the requirements of barrier-free access.

Oksana Horbach, Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager and Director of the Strategic Communications Center Stratcom Ukraine, said: “When we started working with new adaptive sports within the Invictus Games  project, we faced a huge amount of tasks to provide sports rehabilitation for veterans who have visible or invisible injuries. In the near future, we need to find a way to do this in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations, sports federations, educational organizations and our international partners, and create a working group that will deal with personalized care for each veteran of Ukraine".

The photo report from event

Team Ukraine's open training was held on February 18, 2020

Open training on Invictus Games Team Ukraine available for the press, guests, friends and family were held on February 18, 2020 at Olympic Center "Koncha Zaspa'.

The opening training was held during the second training camp of the Invictus Games Team Ukraine. During event, the press, guests, friends and family could jointly with the team Ukraine to practice in various sports and see how the training of team Ukraine is going. The focus point of the event was a first-ever wheelchair basketball game for Team Ukraine and veteran community of Ukraine. To help the Ukrainian team to train in adaptive areas - adaptive rowing, wheelchair racing, hand bike racing, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball - and on invitation from the Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager, the second training camp was attended by the US AF Wounded Warrior program representatives, including Marsha Gonzalez, Team US manager for years 2014-2020, 5 sports ambassadors of the US AF Wounded Warrior Program and adaptive coaches Hannah Walker and Darren Williams. In additiona to this, US team has presented 10 basketball wheelchairs to the Ukrainian team to help advance the adaptive team sports in Ukraine.

The second training camp is the next stage of the five-month preparation of the Ukrainian national team for the Invictus Games the Hague 2020, which will take place on May 9-16 in the Hague. For two weeks, team members have conducted  a series of classes in selected sports, as well as attended English classes and worked with a psychologist.

Photo report from the Open Training event 

Invictus Unite: joint effort of Ukrainian and American national teams to promote adaptive sports for WIS community of Ukraine

At the Invictus Unite seminar, two teams of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 - Ukraine and the United States - joined to open new opportunities for sports rehabilitation for wounded Ukrainian soldiers and to expand adaptive sports in a country where sports rehabilitation of wounded warriors is just starting to emerge.

During the theoretical part, the speakers discussed the issues of sports rehabilitation in Ukraine and the world - the seminar participants learned how the US sports rehabilitation system is built and how it can be adapted in Ukraine, as well as received professional guidance on proper treatment, rehabilitation and further sports training. for veterans and servicemen with injuries and traumas, which have led to partial or complete loss of mobility. Participants of the national team of Ukraine  in 2017, 2018 and 2020 also shared their experience of recovery with the help of sports.

During the practical part of the seminar participants were able to try several adaptive sports (wheelchair running, hand bike racing, adaptive rowing), as well as play sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. For the latter, the US AF Wounded Warrior program has specially brought 10 professional basketball wheelchairs to support adaptive team sports for Ukrainian WIS community.

Oksana Horbach, Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager:

"We want to raise the level of knowledge among the WIS community about adaptive sports as a way of rehabilitation. Sport is something that helps a veteran's integration, even if they don't realize it yet or don't want to. ”

Natalia Melnychenko, Project Manager, NATO Medical Rehabilitation Trust Fund in Ukraine:

"Sport is one of the most important elements in everyone's life, but in a veteran's life it is the point that gives impetus and moves all kinds of rehabilitation. NATO in the framework of the Medical Rehabilitation Trust Fund in Ukraine through the NATO Support and Supply Agency, which is the executive agent of this project, supports and will support the development of sports rehabilitation of veterans in Ukraine. I wish all veterans success in the games and all the best. "

Marsha Gonzalez, Team manager for the US national team at the Invictus Games in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 on the team approach to rehabilitation:

"Rehabilitation is a team sport, no one recovers alone. You need to team up with your family or friends to help you get through this. ”

The photo report from event

Invictus Unite - US AF Wounded Warrior program jointly with Invictus Games Team Ukraine held a seminar on adaptive sports for Ukrainian WIS community

Since the start of operations in 2017, the Invictus Games in Ukraine have gone far beyond sports grounds and have become a powerful driver of sports promotion as an effective means of rehabilitation among Ukrainian wounded servicemen and veterans.

Invictus Unite workshop will unite two Invictus teams - Ukraine and the US - to open new opportunities for sports rehabilitation  and adaptive sports opportunitie for Ukrainian WIS community.

The event, which will take place on February 16 from 11:00 to 16:00 at the National University of Physical Education and Sports will consist of two parts - theoretical and practical.

During the theoretical part, the speakers will discuss sports rehabilitation in Ukraine and the world - the seminar participants will learn how the US sports rehabilitation system is built and how it can be adapted in Ukraine, as well as receive professional guidance on proper treatment, rehabilitation and further sports training. for veterans and servicemen with injuries and traumas, which have led to partial or complete loss of mobility. Participants of the national team of Ukraine in 2017, 2018 and 2020 will also share their experience of recovery with the help of sports.

During the practical part of the seminar participants will be able to try several adaptive sports (wheelchair racing, hand bike racing, adaptive rowing), as well as play sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. For the latter, the US AF Wounded Warrior program has specially brought 10 professional basketball wheelchairs to support adaptive team sports for Ukrainian WIS community.

English translation will be provided during the seminar.

Speakers of the seminar

Oksana Horbach — Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager, Director of Center for Strategic Communications “StratCom Ukraine”

Marsha A. Gonzales — 23-year Air Force veteran, Branch Chief Warrior Care Support for US Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, managing 12 programs that provide non-medical support services to over 10,000 recovering service members, their families, and caregivers; Team Manager for the US Team since the first Invictus Games in 2014. 

Master Sergeant Benjamin Seekell — ex-military working dog handler with the Air Force Security Forces, Team Co-Captain for the Air Force at Warrior Games 2017 and Team USA member at the Invictus Games in Toronto 2017. Events: track/field, cycling, rowing.

Senior Master Sergeant Brian Williams — ex-military working dog handler with the Air Force Security Forces, Security Forces Instructor, Team USA member for 2015 through 2019 Warrior Games and 2016, 2017, 2018 Invictus Games. Events: cycling, rowing, wheelchair basketball, rugby and tennis. 

Larry Franklin — retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. During his 10 years with the Air Force, he served 3 tours supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In 2007, he was shot by an insurgent fighter while on a quick response force mission at Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, but managed to recover and return to duty. Larry competed in 2013 and 2019 Warrior Games.

Kevin J. Greene — Kevin joined the Air Force in January 2012 as a Health Service Management Craftsman. In 2014, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that caused a left leg amputation below-the-knee. In two and a half years he returned to duty, where he learned about the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program and discovered adaptive sports. Currently, Kevin is a Team USA member for the 2020 Invictus Games participating in cycling, rowing, sitting valleyball and wheelchair basketball events.

Joshua Smith — retired Tech Sgt. of the U.S. Air Force. During the Combat Survival training, Joshua was thrown into a culvert that led to multiple injuries. After sustaining several surgeries, Joshua joined Air Force Wounded Warrior Program. He took part in 3 consecutive Warrior Games in 2017, 2018, 2019, and in the 2018 Invictus Games. He’s co-captain for the 2020 Invictus Games Team US, where he’ll compete in WCB, WCR, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, and athletics (track & field).

Hannah Walker — Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) with 14 years of experience coaching adapted sports and fitness programs for wounded, ill and injured military personnel, coach of the Military’s Special Operations Command wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby teams.

Darren Williams — British military veteran with over 30 years of coaching experience. He coached at all levels from adaptive athletes through to elite level competitors. He is a fully qualified British Cycling Coach, Indoor Rowing Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach and a British Swimming and Triathlon Coach. He is currently working as a coach for the US Invictus Team, US Special Forces Team and US Air Force Team. Darren is also Coaching Team Ukraine in adaptive indoor rowing, handbike cycling and sitting volleyball.

Victor Lehkodukh — Cpt. of the Armed Force of Ukraine, previously a commander of a platoon of the 1st Battalion of the 25th Airborne Brigade. With his platoon, he had been in the ATO zone since its beginning in spring of 2014 taking part in fights near Amrosiyivka, Zelenopillya, Debaltseve, Zhdanovka, Uglehirsk and Starobeshivsk region. In the summer that year, he sustained numerous shrapnel wounds, including one to his spine, after coming under heavy mortar fire. In the 2020 Invictus Games, Victor will compete in rowing, handcycling and athletics.

Maksym Yermokhin — Snr. Lieut. of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Took part in combats in the Donetsk oblast in 2017-2018. During his second tour to the ATO zone, Maksym sustained an injury from a landmine explosion that resulted in a knee-high amputation of his right leg.

Participants

2020 Invictus Games Team Ukraine

Team Ukraine selection participants in 2017-2019

Team Ukraine coaching staff led by Serhii Koniushok

Project partners: NATO Office in Ukraine, Crown Agents, Vedi Tour 

Veterans, their friends and family 

Coaches, physical therapy and rehabilitation specialists

Media representatives

Who is this event for?

This seminar is most useful  for Ukrainian veterans and servicemen with disabilities who want to continue to lead an active lifestyle and find the most comfortable and useful sport for further recovery. Invictus Unite is an opportunity to try something new, gain useful knowledge and join a community of people united by similar experiences and a desire to develop despite the limitations.

Coaches, rehabilitation specialists and senior students of sports universities who work or want to work in the field of sports rehabilitation and join the development of adaptive sports in Ukraine are also invited to participate in the seminar.

Participation in the seminar is free by invitation or pre-registration through Facebook event

Organizers

The visit of the American team was initiated by the Center for Strategic Communications StratCom Ukraine and Oksana Horbach, Invictus Games Team Ukraine manager. The Invictus Unite Adaptive Sports Workshop was organized by the StratCom Ukraine Center for Strategic Communications with the assistance of the NATO Support and Supply Agency and the Ministry of Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine.

Photo reports from event