The 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany, are currently underway, with a proud 31-member Team Canada taking on a number of different sports this year.
Taking place from Sept. 9-16, 2023, the Invictus Games includes 500 competitors from 21 nations competing in 10 adaptive sports, including:
- indoor rowing,
- sitting volleyball,
- wheelchair basketball,
- wheelchair rugby,
- table tennis, for the first time.
Invictus Team 2023 Co-captain Alaina Munday noted from Düsseldorf, “I was unprepared for the impact the games would have on my family, my team and myself. Being present for the team and embracing every moment has been my main focus. There are no words to explain the atmosphere – it’s like the biggest and most fun birthday you have ever had – every day. The opening ceremonies were so emotional, and you need to feel it to believe it.”
Above Video: Watch Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex speak at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
“Right across our country, Canadians are inspired by the resilience and dedication of the injured and ill Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans who will represent our country at the Invictus Games. The games offer our injured and ill heroes a special opportunity to demonstrate their tenacity and achievement, and we will all be cheering them on. We could not be prouder of Team Canada, and we wish our athletes the best of luck in Düsseldorf,” said Bill Blair, minister of national defence.
About the Team
This year’s Team Canada consists of 12 currently serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and 19 Veterans. Each one of the members acquired a physical or mental injury during their service to Canada.
The team has been collectively training for several months and held several training camps over the last month. They were eager to fly to Europe and show off their training.Watch the 2023 Games HERE
“I can attest that the euphoria present at the Invictus Games is contagious. The healing which occurs at the Invictus Games is brought on by the convergence of our three families: the biological family, the Team Canada family and the Invictus family, and are all present in every facet. Amazing competitors from all nations, encourage, embrace and celebrate each others victories, having they themselves conquered the many struggles and adversity to get to this point of the journey.
“We can definitely say that the Invictus Spirit is alive and well, it’s heartbeat fuelled by the outpouring of love, emotions, compassion and respect at the Games. I can now proudly live my life in greater peace, in a better personal place, because I AM unconquered, I AM INVICTUS,” said Invictus Team 2023 Co-Captain Bernard Caissie from Düsseldorf.
The Invictus Games were initiated in 2014 by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, after attending the United States Warrior Games. The games are being held in Germany for the first time. According to the Invictus Games 2023 website, the German Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and the City of Düsseldorf are proud to jointly host the unique international sports festival this year.READ MORE about 2023 Team Canada HERE
The 6th Invictus Games in Düsseldorf’s “goal is to give soldiers who are wounded, injured or ill in body and soul a greater awareness and recognition in society and to support their path in rehabilitation”
Canada and the Invictus Games
Canada has participated in the Invictus Games since they were first held in 2014 in the United Kingdom. In 2017 Canada hosted the Invictus Games in Toronto, ON. The games will be returning to Canada in 2025.
The goal of the games is to use the power of sport to support soldiers on their pathway to recovery.
“The Invictus Games are a meaningful reminder of the courage and determination of our members and Veterans who have been injured, either physically or mentally, while in service to their country. I am truly proud of these athletes who challenged themselves once again, this time through sport. I know they will represent our country with great resilience, skill and integrity,” said Gen. Wayne Eyre, chief of the defence staff.
The Government of Canada website noted, “Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, Soldier On has been able to disburse more than $6 million directly to ill and injured CAF serving members and veterans across the country in support of their recovery.”
You can watch the games live or replay an event here.
Canada will once again have the opportunity to host the Invictus Games in February 2025 in Vancouver/Whistler for the first-ever adaptive winter games.