Ryan Smith at the Invictus Games

Offside’s very own Ryan Smith has been on hand to capture the opening rounds of competition at the inaugural standing of the Invictus Games at the Olympic Park in East London.

Founded as a multi-sport event for wounded combat veterans to compete against one and other, in the style of the Warrior Games in the USA, the games are named after the poem of the same title by William Ernest Henley. In Latin, “invictus” means unconquered, summing up the strength and mentality of the sportsmen and the competition in which they will be competing.

So far, action has been mainly focussed on track, field, archery and basketball events with Ryan taking up position on the side lines to snap the best and most eye-catching moments over the finishing line and in the stands.

Ryan Smith: Alex Tate of Team GB takes a tumble after winning his category of the mens 100m final event.
Ryan Smith: Alex Tate of Team GB takes a tumble after winning his category of the mens 100m final event.

On day one, Team GB’s Alex Tate, Ricky Fergusson and  team captain David Henderson all took to the running track to get the home crowds roaring in support, two years on from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics staged on the same site.

Alongside the displays of sporting prowess, there’s also been plenty of personality on show from the competing athletes, with a few catching the eyes of spectators—and Ryan’s camera lens—with their witty tattoos and celebrations at the finishing post.

Ryan Smith: An Athlete with a tattoo on his leg that reads 'I Miss My Friend' with an arrow pointing toward his prosthetic leg.
Ryan Smith: An Athlete with a tattoo on his leg that reads ‘I Miss My Friend’ with an arrow pointing toward his prosthetic leg.
Ryan Smith: Redmond Ramos of Team USA with a comical tattoo that reads 'I'm With Stumpy' with an arrow pointing towards his prosthetic leg.
Ryan Smith: Redmond Ramos of Team USA with a comical tattoo that reads ‘I’m With Stumpy’ with an arrow pointing towards his prosthetic leg.

Day two turned towards some of the indoor events, most notably the archery and basketball competitions. David Hubbard, Gary Prout and Steven Gill flew the flag for the host nation, claiming gold, silver and bronze respectively with their work with a bow and arrow.

On the basketball court, Team GB started their tournament against Denmark, while the best viewing came from an intense contest between the USA and Australia.

Ryan Smith: A Soldier in the stands watches the match unfold between GB and Denmark.
Ryan Smith: A Soldier in the stands watches the match unfold between GB and Denmark.

With plenty more action to come from the Invictus Games, look out for more of Ryan’s images on the Offside blog and Twitter account, @WellOffside.

Ryan Smith: General action from the first match of the day, USA v Australia.
Ryan Smith: General action from the first match of the day, USA v Australia.

Offside is the UK’s leading independent sports photography agency, home to an extensive collection of classic athletics and sporting images from around the world and across Olympic and Paralympic history. Explore Offside’s unique library at www.welloffside.com.

Follow Offside on Twitter at @welloffside.

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Author: gregianjohnson

Football writer for The Blizzard, FourFourTwo, The Mirror, Squawka and VICE amongst others. Follow me on Twitter at @gregianjohnson.

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