Announcing support for the 2025 Invictus Games
I’d also like to begin by acknowledging that we’re on the traditional Coast Salish territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples.
I’m happy to be here today with Minister MacAulay, as well as with Liberal MPs Taleeb, Terry, Wilson, Ron, Parm; thank you all for being here.
I’m also very pleased to be here with my friend John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia. I would also like to acknowledge Provincial Minister Melanie Mark and Chief Wayne Sparrow, along with the other chiefs.
It’s great to be here at Rogers Arena with Team Canada competitors from the most recent Invictus Games. This is a place where we come to see teams show us their strength and determination, and cheer them on.
When we watch people competing and giving everything they have, it makes all of us want to be better and go further. The courageous soldiers who participate in the Invictus Games inspire all of us. They represent the best of us.
This will be the second time Canada has been chosen as the host for the games, but for the first time ever, and classically Canadian, the games… these games will include winter sports.
To support this uniquely Canadian event, our government is providing $15 million so we can celebrate and witness incredible competitors from all around the world, though we all know that when it comes to winter sports, our Canadian competitors will show them how it’s done.
But just to make sure of that, we’re also providing $1 million to Soldier On, so they can help train and equip Team Canada.
Soldier On is a program of the Canadian Armed Forces that helps support recovery for ill and injured CAF members and veterans, and they know that sports can, and should, be a huge part of that recovery.
A little earlier, we watched Team Canada athletes play wheelchair curling, one of the winter sports we’ll see at the 2025 Games. It was a very skilled team, and we could feel their energy and strength. We are really looking forward to watching them compete.
Particularly because a little earlier I had the chance to speak with competitors about their service, about the challenges they face, and about the profound impacts sports have had on their recovery.
I think it’s easy to underestimate or almost shrug off the impact that Invictus and sport can have on injured CAF members, on their path to recovery. When you think about it, those who choose to step up and serve their country do it with everything they are and everything they have, and it comes rightly to define them. They give the very best of their selves to serve their country. And they get used to it and they know that they are there to give their very best in service of country.
And then an injury comes along, and suddenly they don’t feel like they can give their best to their country anymore; they don’t feel that they’re doing as much as they could before. And of course, injury or no, they have so much to continue serving the country, but so much of it is mindset. In the conversation we had earlier, we talked about the challenge, we talked about the competitive spirit, the drive for excellence, but also about the grieving process, of learning to understand that you aren’t the person you were before you got injured, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a world-class competitor, you can’t have every bit of that drive and that push and that quest to give all you are, to your teammates, to your service, to your country.
That’s what Invictus allows, not just competitors, but their comrades, their families, and all of us, to live, to experience, to celebrate.
When talking with Mike, a retired infantry captain who injured his spinal cord on duty in service to his country, and how much sport and competition allowed him to continue to push himself to be the very best.
How Marcy Lynn, who competes to show the world that her PTSD doesn’t define her; like all of us, every day has its challenges, but Invictus and the work everyone here is doing in support of them, highlights that every day also has its victories and has its success.
Mike, Marcy Lynn, Pat… with your inspiring stories, thank you for your service. Thank you for always showing us the meaning of excellence in serving your country, serving others.
You show us just how strong this human spirit is. You dedicate your lives to fighting for others, you put it all on the line to defend our freedom and our democracy. We are always grateful, but we’re even more grateful that we also get the chance to cheer you on as proud members of Team Canada.
Before I end today, I want to take a moment to recognize all the work that the True Patriot Love Foundation did to pull together Canada’s successful Invictus bid for 2025. Thank you to True Patriot Love for all you do to support Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans and their families.
I know all families are… all Canadians are looking forward to welcoming the courageous, indomitable servicemen and women to the 2025 Games, and together we’ll celebrate the power of sport, the power of recovery, and mostly, the power of the human spirit.
Thank you, everyone.