Q+A

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - CALENDAR - Pa­trick Kidd OBE CEO, In­vic­tus Games Syd­ney

How are you feel­ing in the lead-up to the event?

A small num­ber of us have been work­ing on this for the best part of four years. It’s amaz­ingly ex­cit­ing. We’ve got a great team work­ing re­ally hard. To see it from the start through to de­liv­ery is an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege.

What makes In­vic­tus Games spe­cial?

These games are ex­tra­or­di­nary. They are hum­bling. What you’re see­ing isn’t sport in a con­ven­tional sense, but peo­ple who are trans­form­ing their lives through sport. You see peo­ple achieve some­thing they never thought they would do, and you see them re­con­nect with their fam­i­lies who play such an im­por­tant part in their re­cov­ery and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. In­vic­tus is the Latin word for un­con­quered — these peo­ple have re­fused to be de­fined by their ill­nesses or in­juries and they have come out fight­ing.

What do the Games mean for the com­peti­tors?

Peo­ple have been in­spired by com­pet­ing at the Games; it has helped them to trans­form their lives. Peo­ple don’t come out of the Games healed, but they come out with a much clearer sense of self and a clearer idea of what they need to do next to keep their pro­gram of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion mov­ing for­ward.

What can spec­ta­tors ex­pect?

You see ex­tra­or­di­nary peo­ple do­ing amaz­ing things — real sto­ries un­furl­ing in front of you. And for those who em­pathise with peo­ple, it’s an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege that you’re able to ex­pe­ri­ence it with them. This is not about feel­ing sorry for peo­ple — these Games are about cel­e­brat­ing the tri­umph of spirit over ad­ver­sity.

And what does it mean for the Games to be held in Syd­ney?

The fact they’re be­ing held here means they’ll have a global sig­nif­i­cance. Through that, we can hope­fully raise aware­ness around the world of the na­ture of mil­i­tary ser­vice and the im­por­tance of be­ing ac­tive and con­nected.

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