On the day of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 1948, wheelchair athletes gathered for an archery competition. Three Olympics Games later in Rome in 1960, the Paralympic Games was born.
Sport for athletes with an impairment has existed for more than 100 years, but it was after World War II that it became widely introduced, to assist the large numbers of civilians and veterans injured in wartime.
Today, the Paralympics has grown beyond that scope into an elite international competition. At the Rio games in 2016, 4,342 athletes from 159 nations competed, smashing 220 world records.
The Invictus Games, taking place in Sydney from October 20-27, shares the original Paralympic vision. The Duke of Sussex had the inspiration to create an annual sporting event for wounded and ill veterans and serving military personnel after his decade-long service with the British Army.
In Sydney, 500 competitors from 18 nations will compete in 11 adaptive sports.
Many people naturally draw comparisons between the Invictus and Paralympic Games, and in some ways they are similar. For example, each competing nation is responsible for picking their own team.
But there are huge differences between the two events and what they set out to do.
SIZE AND SCALE
The Paralympics operates alongside the Olympics in the same host city. It's a massive, multi-sport competition that requires huge infrastructure, build times and budgets.
The Invictus Games have a relatively small budget and are very community-orientated. While there are hopes they will continue to grow, they will remain small-scale, says Michael Hartung, Chief Delivery Officer for the Sydney Invictus Games, who also served on the Australian Paralympic Committee for 10 years.
"It's not a Games that's caught up in the need to get bigger, and this allows lots of nations to be part of it, and consider hosting it," he says.
Paralympics is very much about elite sport and performance and ultimately, about winning gold medals. With Invictus, the main focus is the competitors' rehabilitation and using sport as a vehicle on their path of recovery.
"It takes in the personal circumstance of the competitors and what this opportunity means for them," says Hartung. "They may not be the fastest person across the 100m line but they may be the person who needs this the most."
DEFINITION OF WINNING
At the Invictus Games, the definition of winning can mean something different to everyone. While individual nations may keep score, the Invictus Games have no global medal tally.
MENTAL HEALTH AS A DISABILITY
Approximately 50 per cent of Invictus Games athletes have acquired a physical disability in service, with the other 50 per cent having developed a mental health issue such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is prevalent in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Many competitors are dealing with both a physical impairment and a mental health issue; the two are intrinsically linked.
"A really important part of the Invictus Games is that it throws a spotlight on the challenges of mental health in a really up-front way that is often not spoken about," says Hartung.
Many Paralympic athletes, meanwhile, have been dealing with a physical impairment since birth. While Paralympic sport recognises intellectual impairment, it doesn't see mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD as classification categories.
CARERS ARE WINNERS TOO
The Invictus Games champion the family and friends behind every competitor, which is like no other high-profile sporting event on earth.
Two friends or family members of each competitor are invited to attend the Invictus Games and be part of it all. Invictus accommodates them, feeds them, transports them, gives them tickets to events, and runs a program of activities in and around the Games.
"Family and friends are absolutely critical in helping the person on the road to recovery," says Hartung, "which is why they are at the centre of this event along with the competitors."
BACK FOR MORE?
Many Paralympic athletes compete in a number of Games to try and better their performance, whereas the Invictus Games are designed to be a moment in time on a person's recovery journey.
In both the Paralympics and Invictus Games, competitors show immense personal strength to overcome their impairments to be the best version of themselves, and herein lies the events' appeal and power.
In sharing their stories they are supporting themselves as well as inspiring all those around the world dealing with their own challenges.
The Sydney Invictus Games will take place between October 20 and 27. For tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au or www.invictusgames2018.org/ for tickets and information.