British Columbia and Ottawa are each committing $15 million in support of the 2025 Invictus Games to be held in Vancouver and Whistler.
The Games will involve 550 athletes from 22 nations and incorporate winter sports like alpine skiing and wheelchair curling for the first time since they began in 2014.
Canada has hosted the event once before in Toronto in 2017. It found out it had won its 2025 bid for B.C. back in April.
“As Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I am extremely excited to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has selected Canada to host the first-ever Winter Hybrid Games in 2025,” Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, said at the time.
He founded the games after attending the Warrior Games in the U.S. in 2013 and seeing how sport can transform the lives of servicemen and women suffering from life-changing physical and mental injuries.
On top of B.C. and Ottawa’s combined $30-million pledge, the federal government is contributing an additional $1 million to the Soldier On program, to help train and equip Team Canada.
“Sport has the power to heal. It is the great equalizer," says Minister Melanie Mark.
— Jane Skrypnek (@janeskrypnek) May 24, 2022
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he spoke with some of Canada’s competitors ahead of Tuesday’s (May 24) announcement.
“We talked about challenge, we talked about competitive spirit, the drive for excellence, and also about the grieving process of learning to understand that you aren’t the person you were before you got injured,” he said.
But, he added, that doesn’t mean the veterans and serving members can’t still be world class competitors. The Invictus Games, Trudeau said, gives them that opportunity to funnel their drive and serve their country in another way.
The 2025 games will also have a focus on partnering with local First Nations.
“Canada has a culture steeped in winter sports, many of which were first played by the Indigenous peoples of Canada,” Premier John Horgan said.
Those sports will include alpine skiing, nordic skiing, skeleton and wheelchair curling. They’ll run alongside the usual indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.
More information on the games can be found at invictusgamesfoundation.org.