Five hundred and fifty competitors from 17 nations are set to compete in the Invictus Games right here in Toronto, Canada’s downtown.
Every competitor – including 90 Canadians – is an active duty or veteran service member who has become ill or injured during their service. So it makes sense that the name “Invictus” comes from the Latin word meaning, “unconquerable.”
These will be the third Invictus Games, and the first to be held in Canada. Prince Harry started the games in 2014 and he’ll be here in the city throughout the competition cheering the athletes from the stands.
Toronto is an ideal host city for the Invictus Games. We’re Canada’s most diverse and inclusive city. And we’re no stranger to welcoming athletes of all kinds. It was two years ago (boy, time flies) that Toronto hosted the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
In fact, one of the important legacies of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games is that they made it possible for the city to bid on, and host, multisport games like the North American Indigenous Games earlier this summer and now, the Invictus Games.
In many ways, Canada is the perfect host country. Canadians from coast-to-coast have been celebrating Canada 150 – commemorating our history, celebrating our differences and all that makes this country special. Now is the time to celebrate those that have sacrificed so much for our nation and to cheer them on with pride.
Prince Harry certainly won’t be the only big name in town for Invictus. Celebrities, world leaders and some of the biggest names in music are convening in the Air Canada Centre for the Opening Ceremony, including Canada’s own Sarah McLachlan and Alessia Cara. The Closing Ceremony on September 30 features Bryan Adams, Bachman & Turner, Kelly Clarkson and the Boss himself – Bruce Springsteen. No big deal.
My hope is that you’ll be cheering on the athletes alongside Prince Harry. Tickets are available for the Games and of course, you can head to the Air Canada Centre for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
From the moment athletes and their supporters touch down in the city, Toronto will do what it does best – welcome visitors with open arms.
Like Prince Harry said in a video posted to Twitter, what competitors experience in Toronto will be life-changing. I have no doubt it will be.
Have a fantastic start to autumn and enjoy the 2017 Invictus Games!