With less than 50 days to go until the 2016 Invictus Games, Team Canada is counting down the days and gearing up for their final preparations. The team united from March 18-22 for their second training camp in Toronto before heading off to the games on May 8.
Led by Team Captain, Bruno Guévremont, the team of 30 is training for seven adaptive sport events including archery, indoor rowing, powerlifting, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.
Founded by Prince Harry in 2014, the Invictus Games are the only international adaptive sporting event for ill and injured activity duty soldiers and veterans. The games serve as a way to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation while drawing international awareness about the physical and psychological injuries soldiers sustain.
But the games not only serve as a way to inspire rehabilitation for many soldiers, but they also bring them together in the spirit of camaraderie.
“To me, this is what I like the most. In the military we are used to this camaraderie and team spirit, and we need each other. So, after being retired, I kind of lost that part of the team. Coming back here is touching that again, having all that support and helping each other, it’s just a great team spirit,” said Retired Master Corporal Natacha Dupuis, who was diagnosed with PTSD after witnessing the death of two of her brothers-in-arms.
Team Canada consists of many first timers, including Capt. Simon Mailloux.
“For me it’s not only about the score aspect: are you fast enough are you quick enough. No, it’s ‘have you succeeded in rehabilitating to be a part of this team… there’s a healing aspect to this as well,” said Mailloux.
Mailloux is participating in track and field competitions, sitting volleyball and rowing.
Invictus Games 2016 will be held in Orlando, Florida from May 8 to 12. The games will bring together more than 500 competitors from 15 nations to compete in ten different sports.
For a more in-depth look at Team Canada and the Invictus Games check out the spring edition of the Canadian Military Family Magazine.