Retired Sgt. Lyle Crispin is just days away from making his Invictus Games debut in Orlando, Florida. A cycling enthusiast, Crispin hopes to not only compete for his country but also bring awareness about the games to other ill and injured Canadian soldiers.
Sgt. Crispin served for nearly twenty years in the CAF. He started out in the militia in 1984, later transferring to the Regular Forces in 1987. He served on three tours during his career deploying to Cyprus, Kuwait, and Yugoslavia. Crispin retired at the School in Gagetown in the early 2000s. Crispin was diagnosed with PTSD due to his service.
Not long after retiring from the military, Crispin turned towards athletics as medication for his illness. He lost 40 lbs. running and also picked up the sport of cycling. Crispin was soon entering triathlons across BC.
His passion for cycling led him to get involved with Soldier On.
“People are really struggling, and Soldier On is a really valuable asset, as far as I’m concerned, for helping people start,” said Crispin.
After being involved with Soldier On, Crispin decided last year to try out for the Invictus 2016 Team.
“I threw my name in a hat. I didn’t really have a lot of expectations. I was hoping to go. I think the coaching is outstanding and, for very personal reasons, wanted to take advantage of that. It’s an incredible opportunity, and I wanted to do it,” mentioned Crispin.
Crispin will be taking part in the road cycling competition.
“I am a Canadian. I firmly believe in my country and most of what it stands for. Seeing something like the Invictus Game come around, for myself, is a very positive thing. It gives me a belief that I can be involved and part of it and make a difference still,” said Crispin.
As a volunteer with Operational Stress Injury Support Service, Crispin hopes his experiences with the Invictus Games will inspire others to become active.
‘The more you do, the more people see you do, the more people know what it is available for them to do as well. It’s really important for me that people who are suffering see it and get out. People have to know there are things available,” stated Crispin.
The cycling enthusiast also hopes that with the games coming to Toronto next year, it will bring more awareness to all Canadians.
“My hope is that more people get involved. The more people that see it, the more people will know there are things out there they can do. It’s critical that everybody that can get involved, gets someone else involved and get out and do these things with people. It helps,” mentioned Crispin.
Crispin and his cycling teammates have stayed connected and gone through a training plan together via social media.
“We are very ready, and we feel pretty good about it,” affirmed Crispin.
Crispin will be leaving his hometown of Rossland, B.C. on May 1 to head off to Toronto. There he will join his 30 teammates to make their journey to Orlando, Florida for the 2016 Invictus Games.
Featured image: Sergeant (retired) Lyle Crispin (right) with fellow cyclists, had the opportunity, through Soldier On to cycle in Europe last summer. This May Crispin, along with his teammates on Team Canada, is heading to Orlando, Florida to participate in the 2016 Invictus Games.