Prince Harry marks 500-day countdown to Invictus Games in Sydney

Prince Harry Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry has marked 500 days to the Invictus Games in Sydney, the British Royal joining Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Admiralty House to begin the countdown to the event for which he is Patron.

Sydney will play host to the fourth staging of the Invictus Games, which is broadcast across the globe on ESPN, in October next year with the Harbour City sure to provide a wonderful backdrop for the week-long sporting event for wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women, both active duty and veteran.

Eighteen nations will head Down Under in 2018 with more than 500 competitors taking part across 10 adaptive sports. Competition will take place across Sydney, including Olympic Park, the scene of the 2000 Olympic Games, with the harbour- and harbour foreshore also set to host events.

"Sydney will soon be the custodian of the Invictus spirit and the focus for hundreds of men and women using the Invictus Games to motivate their recovery from physical and mental injuries," Prince Harry said.

"I know that people across the country - from Perth to Sydney, from Darwin to Adelaide - will embrace the Invictus Games and show their support for competitors from their local towns and right across the country. I have no doubt that the Sydney public will make these games their own.

"The Invictus Games are coming to Australia - game on Down Under."

With 2018 set to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, Prime Minister Turnbull said the Invictus Games reflected how today's servicemen- and women- were being supported in their return to civilian life.

"Today we best honour the diggers of a century ago by supporting the servicemen and women, the veterans and their families of today," Prime Minister Turnbull said. "We are providing comprehensive support for our veterans to support them in a successful return to civilian life.

"The Invictus Games are another great opportunity for the whole community to show our veterans, and those who serve today, that their nation and their community is behind them and will support them every step of the way as they recover from the injuries of war and as they go on to lead and succeed in civilian life," Mr Turnbull said.

Toronto, Canada, will host this year's Invictus Games from September 23-30.