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25 veterans will take part in the Invictus Games 2023

The Come Back Alive Foundation together with INTERTOP raised UAH 12,031,578 to support the National Team of Ukraine in the Invictus Games 2023 and rehabilitate veterans through sports as part of the Support the Invictus project.

Ukrainian defenders who were wounded and injured in combat will represent our country and the army at the international adaptive sports competitions for veterans on September 9-16 in Dusseldorf.

Ukraine has been participating in the Invictus Games since 2017. Since 2019, Come Back Alive experts have been involved in the selection of the team, accompanying them at all stages of preparation and at the competition itself.

On June 5, Kyiv announced the names of 25 participants who will take part in the Invictus Games. 11 members of the team are veterans of the war with russia, and the rest are active servicemen of the Defense forces.

The team included: Veniamin Bondarchuk, Nazar Vozniuk, Pavlo Luchkiv, Volodymyr Hera, Maksym Dmytrash, Ihor Derman, Mykola Zaritskyi, Volodymyr Tovkys, Yevhen Kireyonok, Kostiantyn Kobylianu, Semen Lagun, Oleksandr Makovey, Ivan Moldun, Dmytro Polovian, Oleksandr Ponomariov, Yaryna Alimanova, Oleksandr Budko, Oleh Dolzhok, Maksym Zubov, Vadym Maznichenko, Yuliia Paievska, Bohdan Yarotskyi, Vitaliy Borodavka, Dmytro Kozak, Yuliia Shevchuk.

On July 9, the first training camp for the Ukrainian national team at the Invictus Games ended. The participants trained for 18 days in swimming, archery, athletics, cycling, rowing on simulators, powerlifting, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

The second training camp took place from July 24 to August 1. The team trained in wheelchair basketball under the guidance of Taras Shpuk, a veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war and a member of the Come Back Alive team. Hannah Walker, coach of the U.S. national wheelchair basketball team, helped prepare the participants. In addition to training, the team visited rehabilitation centers. The participants worked with psychologists.

On August 15, the team left for Croatia for the third training camp, which lasted about two weeks. From there, the participants traveled to Germany for training.

The Ukrainian national team won 34 medals at the Invictus Games 2023 in Dusseldorf. The team has 12 gold, 14 silver, and eight bronze medals.

On 9-16 September, the Ukrainians competed in athletics, powerlifting, rowing, swimming, archery, cycling, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and table tennis.

The most successful events for our team were rowing on simulators – 11 medals, swimming – nine awards and archery – five.

In total, UAH 5,458,095 of the amount raised was realized at the Invictus Games 2023. The remaining money will be used by the organization for the Ukrainian team's participation in the United States Air Force Trials 2024.

"We have worked hard to use donations to the Support the Invictus project as efficiently as possible," says Taras Kovalyk, Head of the Veterans Department at Come Back Alive!. -  "Thanks to close cooperation with the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, in addition to the funds raised, we managed to allocate about UAH 9 million of state funds for the Invictus Games 2023. Also, the Ukrainian team was supported by the NATO Trust Fund on Medical Rehabilitation, Support to Patients in the amount of more than UAH 1.5 million."

4,175,560 UAH, a portion of the Support Invictus project donations, funded Team Ukraine’s participation in the United States Air Force and Marine Corps Trials 2024. These funds covered accommodation, meals, logistics, printing, equipment rental and purchase, team uniforms, and the salaries of the organizational team, including coaches, judges, and rehabilitators.

The United States Air Force and Marine Corps Trials 2024 host veteran and active military competitors.The best athletes are selected for the Warrior Games, the largest American event in adaptive sports for military personnel with injuries or disabilities. In 2024, Team Ukraine and Team Georgia were invited to participate as a way to share experiences; therefore, these teams were not attempting to qualify for the Warrior Games.

In advance of the trials, Team Ukraine's staff launched a two-week adaptive sports training camp for veterans and servicemen. Additionally, nearly 70 participants competed in the all-Ukrainian qualifying competitions held on December 12-14, 2023.

Following a rigorous selection process, a team of 30 individuals was chosen to represent Ukraine at the United States Air Force and Marine Corps Trials 2024, selected by a commission consisting of representatives from the civil society and law enforcement agencies.

The Trials took place from March 8 to 14 at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV. 26 active duty servicemembers and four combat veterans competed in 11 adaptive sports: swimming, cycling, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby, archery, powerlifting, track and field, shot put/discus throw, rowing, and shooting. The team secured an impressive 76 medals, including 43 gold, 19 silver, and 14 bronze.

Team Ukraine’s participation in the United States Air Force and Marine Corps Trials 2024 was made possible by the Ministry for Veterans Affairs in collaboration with the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation and civil society organizations such as Come Back Alive, Stratcom Ukraine, and Invictus Games: Team Ukraine.

The remaining funds raised by Come Back Alive are to be used to support the Ukrainian team's participation in the Invictus Games 2025.