Led by Team Canada’s torchbearer, Master Corporal (retired) Trevor Vautour, the women and men of Team Canada will march into Tampa’s Amalia Arena tomorrow night for the opening ceremonies of the 2019 United States of America Department of Defense Warrior Games.
The competition began earlier today with preliminary golf matches and will continue until June 30 at sites throughout the greater Tampa area.
“It’s hard to believe that after months of hard work and training, the Warrior Games are finally set to begin. It is an honour to be a part of Team Canada and, together with all of my teammates, to represent our nation. Thank you to all the staff, coaches, family, and friends, who have helped us get to Tampa. Now it’s our turn to make you proud. Go, Canada,” Warrant Officer Damien Pittman, Warrior Games 2019 Canadian team captain
The goal of the Warrior Games is to enhance the recovery of ill and injured armed service members and veterans through sport.
This year Team Canada is comprised of 36 serving Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who will compete in 13 different sports against approximately 300 ill and injured armed forces members and veterans from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
“The ill and injured serving members and veterans who make up Team Canada are a testament to the power of sport in recovery. Their stories speak to the positive impact that physical training and camaraderie has had in their lives and, in turn, the lives of their families and loved ones. Their fortitude and determination are also a tremendous source of inspiration for others. Best of luck to all of Team Canada as the games get underway in Tampa!,” says Brigadier-General Mark Misener, Commander, Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group.
Some of the sports they will be representing include, archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, field, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, powerlifting, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, and golf.
The Warrior Games, established in 2010, helped inspire His Royal Highness Prince Harry to create the Invictus Games.
Both competitions are focussed on the important role that sport can play in improving the lives of ill and injured armed forces members, veterans, and their families.
“Today marks the culmination of months of training and hard work by all of Team Canada’s incredible athletes. Not only do the Warrior Games celebrate the competitive spirit, but they also represent the resilience and power of sport in the recovery process. Good luck to all the veterans and still serving members competing for Team Canada!,” says the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
The participation of Team Canada in the Warrior Games is made possible through the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group’s Soldier On program, in partnership with Invictus Games Toronto 2017 and Under Armour.
“On the eve of the 2019 Warrior Games, I would like to recognize the hard work, dedication, and unconquerable spirit of the women and men of Team Canada. You have faced challenges on and off the battlefield and epitomize what it means to persevere. On behalf of our entire Canadian Armed Forces Defence Team, best of luck in representing Canada at this year’s Games. We will all be rooting for you,” said Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan.