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2022 Summer Invictus Games

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VerloisLogo.png
Host cityVerlois, Gaullica
MottoWelcome back!
(Gaullican: Bon retour!)
Nations73 (including EIR and AIC teams)
Events301 in 28 sports (36 disciplines)
Opening11 July 2022
Closing1 August 2022
Opened by
Cauldron
StadiumStade de Gloire
Summer
Spálgleann 2018 Sindae 2026
Winter
Ulan Khol 2020 Invertwinc 2024

The 2022 Summer Invictus Games, officially called the XXIX Summer Invictus Games (Gaullican: Les XXIXe Jeux invictus d'été) and also known as Verlois 2022, was the 29th edition of the Summer Invictus Games, an international sports competition. They were held in Verlois, Gaullica, between July 11 and August 1, 2022.

Verlois was chosen as the host city for the games during the 2022-2030 Invictus Committee deliberations. It faced competition from fellow Euclean cities Rimso in Scovern, Morwall in Estmere, and Alikianos in Piraea. The Games were a centenary celebration for Verlois, which also hosted them in 1922. They were the third Summer Invictus Games hosted in Gaullica, the second Games hosted in Verlois, and the fourth Games hosted by Gaullica in total.

The games concluded with hosts Gaullica winning the games with 100 total medals and 196 total points, Soravia in second with 144 points and Shangea in third with 117 points.

Bidding

The candidate cities for the Games were Verlois, Gaullica; Rimso, Scovern; Morwall, Estmere; and Alikianos, Piraea.

2022 Summer Invictus Games host city election
City NIC Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Verlois  Gaullica 21 34 56
Morwall  Estmere 22 29 24
Rimso  Scovern 18 13
Alikianos  Piraea 15

Development and preparation

Venues

The 2022 Summer Invictus Games utilised a mixture of existing, new speciality built and existing facilities as a way to host the disciplines and events. Of these facilities many historic locations around Verlois were used such as the Stade de Gloire (Gaullica's national football stadium) and the Cirque de Pied Cassé. The new facilities were built specifically with the intention to continue to "elevate the nation" in terms of sporting achievement. One of the most highly anticipated new facilities is the Techtronique – Arène de Sport-Cyber, the most forefront eSports arena in the world at the time of its construction. Of the venues that were temporary, such as those for the equestrian events, many are in the process of being relocated to other sporting centres to continue their practice and function.

24 of the 33 venues were located within Verlois, with others spread across the nation in locations such as Rayenne given its easier access to rowing facilities, Côte Serene's comparatively less busy nautical traffic to Verlois was chosen for sailing and some canoeing, and other cities were picked to assist Verlois in "tournament sports" such as football, basketball and rugby.

Stade de Gloire
Patinoire Pôlenord
Arène Quartier de Confluence
Colisée de l'Eau
Place des Taureaux
Legend
E Existing
N New
T Temporary
Venues of the 2022 Summer Invictus Games
Venue City Events Capacity
E Arène Comet Verlois Volleyball (indoor) 13,000
E Arène de la Citadelle Verlois Fencing and Boxing 10,000
E Arène de l'Île Verlois Weightlifting and Wrestling 9,000
E Arène Quartier de Confluence Verlois Swimming (except marathon) 15,000
T Avenue Jacques Prévost Verlois Road cycling 5,000
E Bassin Invictus Verlois Diving and Modern pentathlon (swimming) 6,500
T Champ de Tir Sagittaire Verlois Archery and Shooting 3,200
E Cirque de Pied Cassé Verlois Modern pentathlon (except swimming) 10,000
E Cirque de Sainte-Chloé Verlois Athletics 68,000
T Palais Gaullice Verlois Cavaliering , Equestrian and Zadany 9,300
E Parc de la Terre d'Or Verlois Invictus-logo.svg Opening and closing ceremonies 70,000
E Parc Invictus de Sersaillous Verlois Football (preliminaries and semifinals) and Martial arts 15,000
E Patinoire Pôlenord Verlois Basketball (finals) 22,000
N Pistes National Verlois Pétanque 5,000
E Place des Héros Verlois Basketball (preliminaries and quarterfinals) 42,000
E Place des Taureaux Verlois Rugby sevens (finals) 19,500
T Plage des Pêcheurs Verlois Beach volleyball 8,000
T Pont Sotirien Roche Verlois Athletics (marathon), Triathlon and Swimming (marathon) 5,000[a]
E Stade de Gloire Verlois Football (finals) 80,000
E Stade de Montecardé Verlois Basketball (preliminaries and quarterfinals) 49,000
N Stade de Toutain-Lajoie Verlois Artistic gymnastics 10,000
E Stade Jean Cavinet Verlois Tennis 20,000
E Stade Michaël Badeaux Verlois Table tennis 10,000
N Techtronique – Arène de Sport-Cyber Verlois Esports 9,000
N Arène Paweł Aimargues Rugby sevens (quarterfinals and semifinals) 52,000
E Stade Jules Boivin Aimargues Rugby sevens (preliminaries and semifinals) 43,000
T Port du Bouclier Côte Serene Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Canoeing (sprint) and Sailing 8,000
N Vélodrome Courtemanche-Babin Maredoux Track cycling 5,000
E Parc Invictus Rayennais Rayenne Football (preliminaries and quarterfinals) 62,000
E Stade de la Sirone Rayenne Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg Canoeing (slalom) 8,000
N Colisée de l'Eau Rayenne Rowing 20,000
E Stade de Morel Sartoux Basketball (preliminaries and quarterfinals) 50,000
E Stade de Thorailles Thorailles Rugby sevens (preliminaries and quarterfinals) 32,000
  1. Seated; unlimited standing room along route.

Budget

The Gaullican Invictus Committee initially put forward a cost assessment for Verlois's bid at €16 billion. This assessment was reached on numerous bases, including the renovation of existing sporting facilities, construction of new facilities including the Invictus Village, and the development of new public transport routes.

As the project progressed, however, it became clear that the estimate was a too conservative. Several renovation projects, particularly for the Cirque de Pied Cassé and the Arène de la Citadelle, incurred costs greater than anticipated due to the need for more extensive renovation works than anticipated. The cost was increased dramatically upon the government's request for the creation of a "cutting edge" esports stadium. The Gaullican Invictus Committee agreed, arguing that the first appearance of a sport at the Invictus Games "required significant respect for the sport".

By the time of their completion in early 2022, the preparations had cost some €21 billion, almost €5 billion over the initial budget.

Infrastructure and urban renovation

To support the Gaullican Invictus Committee's target of 90% of athletes being within 20 minutes of their venues in Verlois, the Invictus Village—named Bourlémont for the historic hill in its vicinity—was assigned a 32 hectare plot of land in the centre-west of the city. Controversy arose as some local businesses in the area fought eviction, but their efforts, which included online awareness campaigns, were in vain, as within two weeks of the announcement of the plot, the Federal Ministry of Society and Culture had acquired over 80% of the land through voluntary purchases. The government maintained that the land, which up until then had been former industrial parks in the city, were to be revitalised and rejuvenated.

The Village, designed by Yves Vaillancourt, is capable of accommodating over 25,000 athletes and team personnel. The plans for the Village extended beyond the games, with President Vallette announcing that, following the games, the village would be repurposed in his government's war on homelessness. Vaillancourt's designs called for a modern, ecological style. He incorporated elements of fitness, with each apartment block ergonomically designed to be walkable, and encouraged the development of street-level restaurants, cafes and shops. The space between the apartment blocks was intended to be walkable, car-free and encouraging of healthy lifestyles. In addition to the apartment complexes, his design included a supermarket, a movie theatre, a health clinic and a gymnasium. For its duration as the Invictus Village, the clinic supplied the apartments with sexual health information and the means to practice safe sex.

Initially, the IIC informed Gaullican authorities that Verlois' public transportation networks were "satisfactory" and scored well enough in their estimate, but warned that they may be pushing limits. To get the athletes to and from their venues, the Gaullican Invictus Committee worked with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure to design multiple new rail lines and bus routes to connect the new housing development with the rest of Gaullica. A new bus route named the Ligne Sportive connected the Invictus Village with all venues in Verlois, with service every 5 minutes on the hour. For faster or more distant journeys, a new train station and speciality line, the Ligne Invictus, would connect to Métro lines 1, 2, 4 and 7.

The Federal Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Energy and Environmental Development worked closely with the Invictus organisers in utilising the government's budget for the Games to implement its "rejuvenation" scheme in Verlois. The plan called for the modernisation of the poorest communities and neighbourhoods, including investment in local businesses, repair and repaving of streets, upgrading streetlights with environmentally friendly light sources, and the creation of more public spaces.

The Games

Opening ceremony

The Shangean team marches in the Parade of Nations
Violaine Rousseau performs at the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony took place at the Parc de la Terre d'Or in central Verlois beginning at 21:00 local time on 11 July. The ceremony opened with a performance of the Gaullican national anthem, the Chant des Gaullois, by the Verlois Symphony Orchestra as the Gaullican flag was raised. This was followed by musical performances by pop stars Violaine Rousseau and Georges Dior along with a light display and dance performance by Cirque du Clair de Lune. A segment highlighting the 1922 Games included a somber tribute to the sacrifice of prior generations and hopes for future peace.

The ceremony's second act consisted of the Parade of Nations, with Etruria taking its traditional first place as the originator of the modern Invictus Games. Other nations followed in alphabetical order with the host nation, Gaullica, concluding the parade. The Gaullicans were led by flagbearer Thècle Deslys, who had previously won Invictus gold in the long jump.

IIC President Prospero D'Agosta made brief remarks before the President of Gaullica, Monique Degar-Abdulrashid, formally declared the Games open. The Invictus flag was brought into the stadium and raised as the Invictus Hymn was played.

The Invictus Cauldron lighting concluded the ceremony. The last stage of the Invictus Torch relay repeated the route from the 1922 Verlois games; rather than highlight an individual athletes, organizers chose to feature the entire torch relay team to celebrate the inclusive spirit of the Games. Étienne Barre, a two-time gold medalist in the modern pentathlon, lit the cauldron. As a final gesture of peace before the ceremony concluded, a flock of white doves was released above the crowd.

Sports

28 sports were played at the games, comprised from 36 disciplines, and with 301 individual medal events. Esports (represented by a single Avatar tournament) was played for the first time as an Invictus medal sport at these games.

In the list below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

2022 Summer Invictus Sports program

Participating National Invictus Committees

  The participating countries at the 2022 Summer Invictus Games
  Countries that participated in 2018 but not in 2022
  Yellow circle is host city (Verlois)
Participating National Invictus Committees
Countries that participated in 2018 but not 2022

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony took place on 1 August beginning at 21:00 local time at the Parc de la Terre d'Or in central Verlois. The closing ceremony, like the opening ceremony, began with a performance of the Gaullican national anthem by the Verlois Symphony Orchestra. President Monique Degar-Abdulrashid made brief remarks congratulating the athletes before International Invictus Committee President Prospero D'Agosta also made a short speech.

The Triumph of Nations Parade followed, with the flagbearers for each country entering the Parc in the order they ranked on the medal table. Gaullica, with 100 medals and 196 points, headed the parade with men's individual épée gold medalist Gustave Kateb carrying the flag. After the flagbearers, all other athletes entered the Parc together, symbolizing the fact that sport crosses national borders and unites all people. The parade concluded with a short video presentation thanking the athletes and fans for their participation.

The Victory Celebrations followed; these consisted of the medal ceremonies for a selection of sports that are most emblematic of the history and traditions of the Invictus Games. Medal ceremonies were held for the marathon, triathlon, pentathlon, decathlon, and heptathlon.

The next segment represented passing the responsibility and honor of hosting the Invictus Games to representatives of the city of Sindae, Ansan, which will host the next Summer games in 2026. The Ansene anthem and Invictus Hymn were played in succession before the Invictus flag was lowered and given to the mayor of Sindae, Park Jae-In, by eight Gaullican gold medalists. Park gave a brief speech before a short video presentation highlighting the preparations that Sindae will make to host the games.

Finally, the Invictus Flame was extinguished, officially concluding the games.

Calendar

OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medal events CC Closing ceremony
July Aug. Events
Games day -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Date Sun 10 Mon 11 Tue 12 Wed 13 Thu 14 Fri 15 Sat 16 Sun 17 Mon 18 Tue 19 Wed 20 Thu 21 Fri 22 Sat 23 Sun 24 Mon 25 Tue 26 Wed 27 Thu 28 Fri 29 Sat 30 Sun 31 Mon 1
Invictus-logo.svg Ceremonies OC CC N/A
Archery 5 5
Artistic gymnastics 14 14
Athletics 10 18 20 48
Basketball 2 2
Boxing 13 13
Canoeing Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg Slalom 2 6
Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Sprint 4
Cavaliering 6 6
Cycling Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Road cycling 4 16
Cycling (track) pictogram.svg Track cycling 12
Diving 8 8
Equestrian 6 6
Esports 1 1
Fencing 4 4 4 12
Football 2 2
Martial arts Judo pictogram.svg Judo 14 30
Karate pictogram.svg Karate 8
Taekwondo pictogram.svg Taekwondo 8
Modern pentathlon 2 2
Pétanque 8 8
Rowing 7 6 13
Rugby sevens 2 2
Sailing 6 6
Shooting 11 11
Swimming 20 17 2 39
Table tennis 5 5
Tennis 5 5
Triathlon 2 2
Volleyball Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg Beach volleyball 2 4
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Volleyball 2
Weightlifting 8 7 15
Wrestling 18 18
Zadany 2 2
Daily medal events 0 0 9 17 12 20 21 10 0 1 5 23 13 9 14 9 10 18 20 33 28 21 12 301
Cumulative total 0 0 9 22 35 56 77 87 87 87 91 114 127 136 150 159 169 187 207 240 268 289 301
Games day -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Total events
Date Sun 10 Mon 11 Tue 12 Wed 13 Thu 14 Fri 15 Sat 16 Sun 17 Mon 18 Tue 19 Wed 20 Thu 21 Fri 22 Sat 23 Sun 24 Mon 25 Tue 26 Wed 27 Thu 28 Fri 29 Sat 30 Sun 31 Mon
1
July Aug.

Medals

Approximately 4,000 Invictus and Parainvictus medals were produced by the Monnaie de Verlois. They featured designs by sculptors Néo Auguste and Bernard Poullain. As is tradition, the obverse features the Solarian god Sol resplendently lighting the torch that signalled the start of the first Invictus Games; the reverse features the Games's logo, a bisected Parc de la Terre d'Or (the left side was engraved to look as it did in 1922, the right in 2022) and a design of lines that map out the Verlois street plan. The sport and discipline were engraved in each individual medal. The gold, silver and copper to make the metals were acquired from existing mines across Gaullica and were donated to the Gaullican Invictus Committee.

Medal table

* Host nation (Gaullica)
Rank NIC Gold Silver Bronze Points
1  Gaullica (GAL) 31 34 35 196
2  Soravia (SOR) 24 30 12 144
3  Shangea (SHA) 21 17 20 117
4  Senria (SEN) 25 10 11 106
5  Estmere (EST) 17 12 21 96
6  Werania (WER) 13 8 27 82
7  Scovern (SCV) 9 15 18 75
8 Rizealand Rizealand (RIZ) 10 12 12 66
9 Hennehouwe Hennehouwe (HEN) 10 10 9 59
10  Etruria (ETR) 14 5 6 58
11  Cassier (CAS) 9 4 10 45
12  Dezevau (DEZ) 6 6 11 41
13  Paretia (PAR) 8 6 3 39
14  Ansan (ANS) 8 2 3 31
15  Chistovodia (CHI) 3 8 6 31
 Zorasan (ZOR) 3 8 6 31
17  Alsland (ALS) 3 7 8 31
18  Amathia (AMA) 2 6 13 31
19  Emessa (EME) 7 2 5 30
20  Tengaria (TEN) 5 4 5 28
21  Satavia (STV) 6 3 2 26
22 Borland (Kylaris) Borland (BOR) 4 4 6 26
 Kirenia (KIR) 4 4 6 26
24  Azmara (AZM) 2 9 2 26
25  Ardesia (ARD) 2 6 7 25
26 Bistravia Bistravia (BIS) 2 5 9 25
27  Sainte-Chloé (STC) 3 5 5 24
28  East Miersa (EMS) 1 9 3 24
29  Adamantina (ADA) 4 3 4 22
30 International Invictus Committee Invictus Athletes from Champania (AIC) 3 5 3 22
31  Caldia (CAL) 3 3 6 21
32  Garambura (GAR) 2 4 4 18
33  Nuvania (NUV) 1 5 5 18
34  Piraea (PIR) 2 4 3 17
35  Eldmark (ELD) 2 2 6 16
36  Aucuria (AUC) 3 2 2 15
37  Ajahadya (AJA) 3 0 2 11
38 Gapolania Gapolania (GAP) 2 1 3 11
 Ravnia (RAV) 2 1 3 11
40  Nainan (NAI) 2 1 2 10
41  Vedmed (VED) 1 2 3 10
42  Tsabara (TSA) 0 2 6 10
43  Tiwura (TIW) 3 0 0 9
44  Rwizikuru (RWI) 2 1 1 9
45 Montecara Montecara (MON) 1 3 0 9
46  Satucin (SAT) 0 1 7 9
47  Mabifia (MAB) 1 1 3 8
48  Kabu (KAB) 2 0 1 7
 Sohar (SOH) 2 0 1 7
 Yemet (YEM) 2 0 1 7
51 Kantemosha (KAN) 1 1 2 7
52  Geatland (GEA) 1 1 1 6
 Juznavia (JUZ) 1 1 1 6
Vinalia Vinalia (VIN) 1 1 1 6
55  Radushia (RAD) 1 1 0 5
56 Lavana Lavana (LAV) 0 2 1 5
57  Behera (BEH) 1 0 1 4
 Duran (DUR) 1 0 1 4
59  West Miersa (WMS) 0 2 0 4
60  Imagua and the Assimas (IMA) 1 0 0 3
International Invictus Committee Invictus Refugee Team (EIR) 1 0 0 3
62  Azure Coast (CAZ) 0 1 1 3
 Île d'Émeraude (IDE) 0 1 1 3
64  Belmonte (BEL) 0 1 0 2
 Hacyinia (HAC) 0 1 0 2
 Kesselbourg (KES) 0 1 0 2
 Kuthina (KUT) 0 1 0 2
68  Maucha (MAU) 0 0 2 2
 Siamat (SIA) 0 0 2 2
70  Padaratha (PAD) 0 0 1 1
Totals (70 NICs) 304 308 362 1889

NICs without medals

Changes in medal standings

List of official changes in medal standings
Ruling date Sport/Event Athlete (NIC) 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total Notes
19 July 2022 Fencing
Women's individual sabre
Invictus Athletes from Champania Lûcia Montverd (AIC) DSQ –1 –1 AIC fencer Lûcia Montverd was disqualified by a decision of the International Invictus Committee after testing positive for elevated levels of the banned substance trimetazadine.[1]
Gaullica Euphémie Samuel (GAL) +1 –1 0
Garambura Elisé Yaoua (GAR) +1 –1 0
Bistravia Irina Stetenko (BIS) +1 +1
List of official changes by NIC
NIC Gold Silver Bronze Net change
 AIC –1 0 0 –1
 Bistravia +1 +1
 Garambura +1 –1 0
 Gaullica +1 –1 0 0

Broadcasting

Aerial view of the Parc des Expositions de Verlois, the venue for the Invictus Broadcast Centre.

As with previous Games, the Invictus Broadcasting System (SID; Gaullican: Système invictus de diffusion) will serve as the host broadcaster for the 2022 Games. The SID cooperated with the Gaullican public broadcaster, Gaullice Télévisions, to provide broadcasting facilities, personnel and technology for coverage of the Games. The SID licensed broadcasting rights to broadcasters across the world, providing the base feed of video, audio and standardised graphics, with each local broadcaster able to supplement this with their own commentary, presentation and editing.

More than 30,000 hours of television coverage will be produced and distributed by the SID, with a similar volume of digital content produced for online and multimedia services. The SID has set a minimum quota of 50% of televised coverage to be produced in 4K UHD resolution, similar to its production of coverage for the 2020 Winter Invictus Games. In addition, the SID and Gaullice Télévisions will film the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as a select number of event finals, in 8K HDR resolution.

The Parc des Expositions de Verlois is the venue for the Invictus Broadcasting Centre (CDI). The SID operates all production and broadcasting feed dissemination from the Centre. The CDI also serves at the hub for broadcasters producing content relating to the Games, including journalists from non-rightsholding broadcasters and organisations.

In Hennehouwe, public broadcaster Hennish National Broadcasting (HNO) is the official broadcaster of the Games. HNO will air approximately 36 hours of live, free-to-air content a day across its television and digital networks within Hennehouwe. Primary television coverage will be broadcast on De Tweede, including live primetime events, coverage of events with Hennish participation, daily highlights and studio commentary. Uninterrupted coverage of sports will air on the broadcaster's dedicated sports channel HNO Sport, pop-up channel HNO Sport Extra, and streaming service HNO NU. HNO also launched its first ever 4K channel, HNO UHD, on a temporary basis solely for coverage of the Games. For the first time ever, HNO will sublicense coverage of the Games to a third-party Hennish broadcaster, with full coverage of the esports event being sublicensed to youth-orientated network ONYX.

Broadcasters by country

Marketing

Motto

The official motto of Verlois 2022 was revealed the day after Verlois was confirmed as the host. The organisers wished to convey a feeling of welcoming and enjoyment, celebrating the centenary of the games held in Verlois in 1922. In keeping with this spirit, the organisers chose "Bon retour!" as the official motto.

Once Verlois was confirmed as the host city, the Gaullican Invictus Committee opened up to the public a selection process between four competing designs for the logo. With an overwhelming level of support from the public, Emma Roatta's design was chosen. Roatta's design highlighted the colours of the Invictus Games, Chrétien Tower, and the centenary. Roatta's design polled immensely favourably with both national and international audiences, with one survey highlighting that the design "evoked a great sense of pride".

Roatta's design.

Mascot

The original mascot planned for Verlois 2022 was based on a anthropomorphised country of Gaullica, affectionally named "Mère Gaullice". Stylised as a well-built, tall woman with skin patterned on the Gaullican flag, "Mère Gaullice" was to be dressed in a variety of outfits to symbolise a national identity, celebrate women in sport, and promote sport among the next generation. However, despite the design's popularity among focus groups, many sectors of society voiced concerns once the mascot was officially revealed.

Several groups felt that "Mère Gaullice" was "too sexy" and "objectified women in sport", whilst other groups, including the SGIO, argued that the mascot was a "sexualisation of nationalism" and a "hallmark of a legacy never properly tackled". Defenders argued that there was nothing nationalistic about her, and some feminist groups argued that her physique was a celebration of the female body given her "biologically accurate" athletic physique.

Despite criticism, the Gaullican Invictus Committee maintained their faith in the mascot and went ahead with plans for both physical and digital versions. The mascot served as a guide in the Invictus Village, performed around the country to draw attention to the Games, and appeared as a faux-artificial intelligence guide to the city of Verlois and the Games themselves on the official 2022 Summer Invictus Games app.

Countdown clock

To mark down the time until the start of the Games, numerous digital countdown clocks were set up in Gaullican cities. They were inaugurated in unison, including on Nouvel Anglet and in the Îles des Saints, and marked down the event from 500 days before it started. They began with the lighting of the Invictus Torch in Solaria, Etruria. The countdown timers were unique, with each of the 28 representing a different sport.

National and international marketing

To promote the games domestically, several advertising campaigns were set up that featured athletes participating in the Games. Weekly sporting news reports discussed Gaullica's chances, training sessions were broadcast, and a huge outreach campaign to sporting facilities around the country, including in schools, was set up by the Ministry of Education. Sports that were considered less popular were introduced as taster sessions in the national curriculum, and temporary events featuring sports such as fencing, horseback riding and archery had their fees waived for individuals wishing to participate. Across both Gaullica and the Euclean Community, a special lottery was held that guaranteed free seats for multiple sporting events. 100 free tickets were given away, 50 within Gaullica and 50 across the rest of the Community.

Local and national businesses participated in numerous charity events and campaigns to spread awareness. Local bakeries in Verlois offered unique breads and sandwiches for the duration of the Games. The Gaullican-based international soup chain Cottage Potage released flavours from across the world to lead up to the event, celebrating the international nature of the Games. Several clothing brands released collaborations with upcoming young Invictus athletes for sportswear and swimwear. Politicians encouraged the nation to participate in sport and healthier living and Gaullican chefs and restaurants took it upon themselves to help the nation "prepare for athleticism" by offering healthier menus and recipes.

Controversies

Girolamo Conte comments

On 13 July, the second day of the Games, Girolamo Conte, the head coach of Etruria’s female boxing team, was overheard and recorded making homophobic and racist comments about Sarena Sutton, Estmere’s silver winner in women's lightweight boxing. He reportedly questioned why the boxer was representing Estmere and not the men’s refugee team, citing her sexual orientation and ethnicity.[2] He was also overhead and witnessed berating the three Etrurian athletes for failing to progress beyond the Group of 16 stage, publicly questioning their talent, mental capacities and patriotism.

Conte was reported to the Invictus authorities who promptly reviewed the footage of him insulting Sutton and heard evidence from the three Etrurian athletes who reported him for his behaviour. The International Invictus Committee informed the Etrurian Invictus Committee that it would issue fines and bans against it if Conte was not removed from the Games.[3]

Late that night, the EIC announced Conte had been sacked as head coach, expelled from the body, and was ordered to leave Verlois immediately. The Etrurian body also referred his behaviour to the Etrurian boxing authority, who expelled and banned him for life on July 18. The EIC apologised to Sutton and the three athletes, and sent an internal memo to all Etrurian teams with a stern warning that the body would not tolerate any further racial or homophobic incidents.[4]

The Conte incident sparked a bitter debate in Etruria over whether the EIC overreacted.

Lubor Rušil comments

On 14 July, the third day of the Games, Lubor Rušil, a sports commentator for Bistravská Televize, made racist remarks during his commentary of a sabre fencing match between Irina Stetenko of Bistravia and Elisé Yaoua of Garambura.[5] After the incident, many individuals and private media outlets reported Rušil and called the broadcaster to suspend him from commenting for the duration of the Games. It is estimated that around 800,000 viewers watched the event live on the channel.

The next day, rugby and artistic gymnastics events were commented on by Anna Bakarová, who had previously worked with Lubor Rušil on days 2 and 3. However, swimming events had no live commentary and were only briefly summarized in the special program Invictus Studio. During the program it was announced that B.TV2 employees Martin Houský and Jerohim Kusač would join Rušil and Bakarová in the upcoming events. No statement has been released by the broadcaster or by Rušil himself. It is currently unknown what measures have been taken by Bistravian television against the reporter. The journalist has been working for B.TV since 2003 and faced similar criticism during the 2018 Summer Invictus Games and 2019 IFF Coupe du monde.

The same day, Irina Stetenko issued an apology on Chirpr which also included criticism of Rušil, mentioning his history of objectionable behavior.[6]

Invictus Athletes from Champania doping controversy

After Invictus Athletes from Champania fencer Lûcia Montverd earned a gold medal in the women's individual sabre event, it was reported on 16 July, just two days after the event, that she had tested positive for elevated levels of the banned substance trimetazadine.[7] As of 18 July, neither the fencer nor the International Invictus Committee has confirmed or denied the positive test result or the validity of the articles published by sports journal L'Équipe or newspaper Le Monde. Trimetazadine is used to treat numerous heart conditions and was added to the list of banned substances by the Global Anti-Doping Agency in 2013. In healthy people, the drug increases blood flow and endurance levels, giving athletes and unfair advantage over those not on the drug. The Champanian Invictus Committee is currently banned from participating in the Invictus Games after it was found that Champania engaged in state-sponsored systematic doping since at least the early 2010s.

On 19 July, the International Invictus Committee confirmed the positive results for Montverd, and announced that it would be stripping the fencer of her gold medal [8], effective immediately. The IIC also said that no other actions would be taken against the other Champanian fencers due to poor performance. The disqualification and stripping saw Gaullica and Garambura claim gold and silver respectively, and previously 4th place Bistravia earn the bronze. In the wake of the news, the Scovernois Invictus Committee and Hennish Basketball Association were reported to both be lobbying the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) for the complete ban of Champanian athletes from international competition. [9][10]

Initially, Montverd was given a 3-year suspension for the positive results. This was then successfully appealed and reduced to 2 years. The Global Anti-Doping Agency confirmed it was launching an investigation into the matter. On 6 March 2023, the investigation was concluded, and on 9 March it was released. In the report, it was found that Montverd did not knowingly ingest the drug, and upon further analysis, multivitamins that athlete was taking was found to be the source. The TAS commuted Montverd's ban to one-year from the date of the positive test result, and is set to expire on 16 July, 2023.

Men's football final

The Men's football final between Etruria and Gaullica was marred by antogonistic behaviour by Etrurian fans, including violent clashes between fans during the half-time break, and into the early minutes of the second half. Etruria falling 2-1 behind in the first half of the match triggered a negative reaction among Etrurian fans, who threw flares onto the pitch and violently clashed with Gaullican fans and match wardens, though these were isolated in location and scope. The final was also marred by the unfurling of a Solarian War-era flag associated with the 22° Esploratori Division "Agrippina", a unit accused of direct involvement in the Piraean Genocide. The flag which carries the motif "Sul sangue e sulla carne marciamo verso Dio" ("On blood and flesh we march to God") is popular among the far-right ultras as a motivator during football matches[11]. The use of the flag drew widespread condemnation from civil rights groups, non-governmental organisations and the Piraean embassy in Povelia. However, the flag's notoriety grew exponentially as Etruria went on to secure a 3-2 victory over Gaullica and secured the gold medal, with many Etrurian social media users remarking that the flag was now a "national good luck charm."


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