The annual Invictus Games, founded for ill and injured veterans and soldiers, will be coming to Toronto in 2017, announced Prince Henry today.
“I always hoped the Invictus story would continue after the London games and having seen so many new people benefit from their journey to Orlando this year, I definitely didn’t want it to end here,” said the prince in a release.
Appropriately named Invictus, meaning unconquered, the games give ill and injured military service personnel a chance to showcase their athletic skills and inspire recovery, support rehabilitation while creating awareness for the sacrifices made while serving their countries.
The 2017 games, to take place in September, are expected to have more competitors and participating nations than ever before.
Canadian organizers of the 2017 event are looking forward to Toronto hosting this event.
“This country’s non-military citizens actively look for ways to express their gratitude to our military, and the Invictus Games will provide an ideal forum for what we know will be an unprecedented outpouring of support,” said Michael Burns, CEO of Invictus Games Toronto 2017 in a release.
According to the Invictus Games Foundation, Toronto won the 2017 bid because the city could support an event like this while understanding its core values.
“The Toronto bid won the rights to the 2017 Invictus Games as it demonstrated a real understanding of the core concept and vision of the Games. The Invictus Games Foundation felt Toronto’s sporting venues and great city infrastructure would offer competitors and their families a real Canadian experience. Having recently hosted thousands of visitors during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Invictus Games will present another opportunity for Toronto to showcase its status as a world-class tourism destination,” said the foundation’s website.
The announcement comes 50 days before the start of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. Hundreds of men and women from around the world are currently making their final preparations for the upcoming games taking place from May 8-12.
Prince Henry stated that he will make his way to Toronto in May, on his way to the Orlando Games, to officially launch of the 2017 games in Toronto.
Canadians have historically taken part in the games with a team headed off to Orlando for the 2016 games.
“I know first-hand how difficult it can be to struggle with physical and mental health issues that are related to the service you have given to your country. Competing in the Invictus Games on home soil will provide me and my fellow military competitors with the pride and confidence needed to push our minds and bodies beyond what we thought was possible – to represent our country shoulder-to-shoulder, as we once did,” said Bruno Guévremont, 2016 captain of Team Canada in a press release.
Prince Henry noted that the games are especially significant for Canada since the country is marking its 150th anniversary next year.
I cannot think of a better way to mark this milestone than by paying tribute to the soldiers and veterans who have served their country so bravely and to support them along their journey to recovery,” said Prince Henry.