The respective governments of Team Australia, Team Jordan and Team New Zealand have said their nation’s athletes will not be traveling to the Invictus Games in The Hague next year due to COVID-19.
The Games' organising committee said it remains committed to delivering a safe and exciting competition from 29 May to 5 June 2021.
The Dutch city was due to hold the 2020 Games in May before it was postponed to next year because of the pandemic.
As a precaution, the closing ceremony for the 2021 event has been rescheduled to the evening of Friday 4 June and has been revised to meet potential COVID-19 restrictions.
The organising committee is also exploring digital solutions – such as online virtual competitions – to ensure people at home still feel part of the experience.
Conny Wenting, CEO of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, said: "Despite the sad news of some of the teams’ travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, we are still coordinating the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 on the basis of 20 participating nations.
"The updated sports schedule has recently been shared with all teams to ensure that all competitors are preparing their training accordingly.
"As the competitors continually demonstrate their resilience in combating the obstacles that life has placed in front of them, my team will show their own resilience in ensuring that we deliver the Invictus Games in the best form possible next May," she added.
Brigadier Phil Winter, Chef de Mission Team Australia, said competitors and their family and friends are very disappointed they will not be able to attend next year’s games as planned.
"We understand this is a challenging time, and the health and wellbeing of our competitors and their family and friends continues to be our highest priority," he said.
"Team Australia will continue to prepare for next year’s games and look forward to participating despite not being able to travel to The Hague."
HRH Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, chairman of The Hashemite Commission for Disabled Soldiers, said: "I regret that Jordan will not be able to travel to the Invictus Games in 2021, due to the severe health and economic impact the pandemic has had on the kingdom.
"We wish the circumstances were different, but faced with these challenges, we have had to come to this difficult decision."
New Zealand Defence Force Invictus team Head of Mission, Commodore Mat Williams, said his team was extremely disappointed they would not be able to attend the games but that the decision was out of their hands.
"Our team have worked hard to support each other through this very difficult time, and that support is ongoing," he said.
"We look forward to a time when life has returned to relative normality and we can once again participate in events such as the Invictus Games."
The Invictus Games is an international multi-sport event launched in 2014 by the Duke of Sussex after taking inspiration from the 2013 Warrior Games.
It is aimed at wounded, injured or sick Armed Forces personnel and veterans, and it takes the name from the Latin word 'Invictus', meaning 'unconquered' or 'undefeated'.
The sixth edition of the Games will take place in the German city of Dusseldorf in 2023.
Cover image: Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto (Picture: US Department of Defense).