A new Invictus Games look is coming to Vancouver and Whistler, featuring adapted winter sports for the first time.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, announced on Friday that the two municipalities in British Columbia will host the eight-day international athletic competition for injured and ill service members in February 2025.
“As Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I am extremely pleased to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has chosen Canada to host the first-ever Winter Hybrid Games in 2025,” the Prince said. Harry, founder and patron of the competition. statement.
“The Invictus Games Vancouver-Whistler 2025 will provide a global platform to expand the range and profile of adaptive winter sports.”
Prince Harry started the games in 2013.
The competition will feature alpine skiing, nordic skiing, skeleton and wheelchair curling as well as swimming, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.
Over 500 athletes from over 20 nations are expected to compete.
The bid to host Vancouver and Whistler was submitted by the municipalities as well as the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.
Com. Dennis Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation was in The Hague on Friday for the announcement as this year’s Invictus Games drew to a close.
“This whole experience has been overwhelming … witnessing stories of veterans and people who have served their country and the power of sport and camaraderie,” Thomas told CBC, speaking outside the Hall at Pays – Low Friday.
“There are a lot of aboriginal veterans who have represented their country and for them to see the magnitude of the games coming to Vancouver, I think [it’s] going to be something special.”
True Patriot Love, a Canadian foundation that supports military members, veterans and their families, is partnering with local governments, First Nations, provincial and federal governments to host the 2025 Games.
The foundation previously helped organize the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, where Prince Harry and then-girlfriend Meghan Markle made their first official public appearance as a couple.
“We learned [in 2017] how popular games are in Canada,” said Nick Booth, CEO of True Patriot Love. “The Canadian public really came out to support, celebrate and volunteer. And we’re sure the British Columbia public will do the same.”
New York and Seattle were the other two cities shortlisted as potential hosts.
London hosted the first Invictus Games in 2014.
Booth was also in the Netherlands to attend the event and said he was once again inspired by what he saw.
“These are all incredible events. They change – in fact, they save – people’s lives. I have met people who have told me that they are alive because of the Invictus Games,” he said. declared.
“Part of that journey for athletes isn’t just the physical journey. Part of that is the sense of recognition and celebration they get from the crowd.”
Vancouver and Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and both municipalities are supporting a bid by local First Nations to host the 2030 Winter Games.