The Invictus Games were officially passed to Canada after the Invictus Games flag was passed from the United States, last year’s host, to this year’s host in a ceremony on July 12.
The handover of the flag from Team US to Team Canada, marks Canada’s official responsibility for hosting the 2017 Invictus Games.
“There is so much pride [knowing] that Canada is hosting the next Invictus Games. I know the military community will close ranks in support of us, but I’m also confident that Canadians from coast to coast will want to come out to support this inspiring competition!” said Major Simon Mailloux, co-captain, Team Canada.
The ceremony was hosted by Fisher House Foundation, which took place at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“Accepting this flag is a defining moment in awakening the spirit of our country. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of Fisher House, not only to Toronto’s Games, but to all of the men and women who will be competing there and the friends and families who will be watching and supporting them. The bar set by Ken Fisher and his team at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 was very high and we are aiming to expand on the amazing legacy,” said Michael Burns, CEO of Invictus Games Toronto 2017.
The Fisher House Foundation is a longtime supporter of the Games. The CEO and Chairmen of the Foundation, Ken Fisher, was also on hand at the ceremony and addressed the audience.
“No one goes to war and comes back unchanged. For some people, these changes mean months, even years, of arduous rehabilitation. Because the Invictus Games are about overcoming these challenges and celebrating accomplishments, each competitor taking part brings with them an inspirational story of triumph,” said Fisher.
The Fisher House Foundation has sponsored the Invictus Games every year and announced their intention to sponsor the Games once again this year at the ceremony.
During the ceremony, athletes shared how the rehabilitative power of sport has impacted their lives and the role military families play in the recovery of wounded, ill and injured veterans and service members.
“Adaptive sports gave me just what I needed: a way to compete again and so many amazing teammates that brought me under their wings and gave me advice on everything I was just learning in this new adaptive life. I was blown away by how in an event with hundreds of competitors from all over the world our life stories could be so different. How and where we grew up, why we joined the military, and how we were injured are all so unique. But then in the Invictus Games, how we were all so similar!” said Captain Christy Wise, Invictus Games 2017 Team U.S. Co-Captain.