Prince Harry launches Invictus Games Toronto 2017

Special events took place in downtown Toronto to celebrate the Invictus Games coming to Canada in September 2017

Toronto, 2nd May 2016 – Prince Harry today visited Toronto to officially launch the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, presented by Jaguar Land Rover. Kicking off the celebration was an inspiring ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York hotel, followed by a vibrant adaptive sport demonstration at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The third Invictus Games will be held in Toronto from September 26 to 30, 2017. They will be the largest Invictus Games yet, with more than 600 competitors from 16 nations competing in 12 sports. Established by Prince Harry in 2014, the Invictus Games are the only international adaptive sports event for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. The inaugural Games took place in London in 2014; the second Invictus Games are set to take place in Orlando from May 8 to 12, 2016.

“Hosting the Games in Canada in 2017, the year our country celebrates its 150th anniversary of Confederation, will provide an important opportunity for Canadians to commemorate and honour its wounded, ill and injured soldiers and their families,” said Michael Burns, chief executive officer of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. “The spirit of the Invictus Games will extend across the nation, uniting Canadians in celebration of these inspiring Games and their worthy cause.”

When asked about how the Invictus Games changed his life, 2016 Team Canada competitor Sean Wyatt explained, “I have trained for the Orlando 2016 Games since December 1, 2015. Since then, I have shot over 9,000 arrows. I shoot arrows for three hours a day and spend another few hours doing strength training, cardio and meditation. When I confessed to my teammates that I was feeling depressed as a result of my PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), each and every one of them gave me their phone numbers and encouraged me to reach out. Before December 1, 2015, my bows had hung on the wall for six years.”

In his speech Prince Harry said: “We’re here to celebrate the fact that in September next year, just seventeen months away, Toronto will host the Invictus Games. The Toronto games are going to be, I am promised, the biggest and best Invictus Games yet, with more competitors, competing in more sports, in front of more spectators than ever before. 2017 will be your chance, your opportunity to salute those that serve your country; to salute those that put themselves in harms way so you don’t have to. I can’t wait to see how Canada embraces the games and rises to the challenge of telling Chapter 3 of the Invictus story.”

Jaguar Land Rover was announced today as the Presenting Partner of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. “Jaguar Land Rover is proud to renew our role as presenting partner of the Invictus Games in 2017 and even more proud that it is coming to Canadian soil,” said Wolfgang Hoffmann, President, Jaguar Land Rover Canada.  “We look forward to supporting all teams including Canada during the inspiring challenges in Toronto next year”.

Among those joining Prince Harry at the Royal York hotel this morning was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. They gave a warm Canadian welcome to the upcoming Games and celebrated their important significance on home soil.

Following the ceremony at the Royal York hotel, His Royal Highness made his way to the Mattamy Athletic Centre in the afternoon for a celebration of adaptive sport, featuring a high-energy sledge hockey scrimmage with the Canadian national sledge hockey team. Sledge hockey, along with golf, will make its Invictus Games debut in 2017.

Prince Harry, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Toronto Mayor John Tory were among the guest speakers who addressed the crowd of nearly 2,000, highlighting the excitement that the Games will bring to the city in September 2017.

The day’s special guests also included Free the Children co-founder Marc Kielburger, wounded Canadian veterans Jody Mitic and Dominic Laroque, Canadian singer Tyler Shaw, the 48th Highlanders of Canada, Invictus Games 2016 Team Canada members, and hosts Brian Williams, Cabbie Richards and Melissa Grelo.

Tomorrow, Prince Harry will continue on to Orlando, Florida, to join in the celebration of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 taking place from May 8 to 12 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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