With files from Official Departmental Release –
Canada now knows which serving members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be representing our country at the 2020 Invictus Games, to be held 9-16 May, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands.
The 32 athletes selected to compete in the military games founded in 2014 by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, were formally introduced at Ottawa City Hall this past 5 February. Among those in attendance was the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, who expressed how “…the members of Team Canada Invictus Games are truly an inspiration.” “These athletes and their families and friends will touch our hearts and inspire us all throughout the Invictus Games. I want to wish Team Canada good luck and invite all Canadians to follow their journey as they realize their incredible achievements,” the VAC Minister added.
The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence (MND), and General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), joined the VAC Minister at the unveiling ceremony along with Ms. Frederieke Quispel, Chargé d’affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, and Councillor Matthew Luloff, City of Ottawa Liaison on Veterans and Military Issues.
Both Minister Sajjan and Gen Vance echoed Minister MacAulay’s comments in attesting to the exemplary courage, resilience and determination the athletes have been demonstrating.
“I know that everyone will be cheering you on as you train to get ready for your competition in The Hague,” congratulated the MND, with the CDS adding that he was “…proud of the members of Team Canada and want to extend my very best wishes to each of them.” “I know they will represent our country with the highest levels of skill, effort, and integrity. Good luck to all athletes participating at the Invictus Games The Hague 2020.”
Prior to their formal announcement as members of Team Canada, invited athletes spent a week at a training camp held in September 2019 at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Valcartier. They are currently continuing their training in their hometowns with help from Invictus Games Team Canada coaches as well as the support of the respective local bases, wings, and sports clubs. The 32 team members will represent Canada against more than 500 competitors from 20 nations participating in 10 adaptive sports throughout the course of this year’s Invictus Games.
From a local perspective, the National Capital Region is proudly sending five retired and serving members to The Hague:
- Warrant Officer (ret’d) Joanne Bradley – Resource Management Support Clerk
- Warrant Officer Raymond Burke – Geomatic Technician
- Co-Captain Sergeant (ret’d) Nadia Duranleau – Cook
- Corporal (ret’d) Jessica Garneau – Resource Management Support Clerk
- Sergeant (ret’d) Alannah Gilmore – Medical Technician
Speaking on behalf of the entire team, both Co-Captains Chief Warrant Officer Rock Ferland and Sgt (ret’d) Nadia Duranleau expressed they were “…thrilled, as are all of our teammates, to be representing Canada at this year’s Invictus Games!” “The Games are about so much more than competition on the field of play. Invictus is about camaraderie, resilience, determination to take on whatever challenges life throws at you, and inspiring others to do the same,” they added. ”On behalf of all of Team Canada, thank you for this honour…and see you in The Hague!”
You can read the biographies of all members at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/invictus-games-2020/biographies.html
The participation of Team Canada in the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 is made possible through the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group’s Soldier On program, in partnership with the True Patriot Love Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, Soldier On has disbursed more than $7 million directly to ill and injured members across the country in support of their recovery. The Canadian Armed Forces’ Soldier on Program has supported nearly 6,000 members since its inception more than 12 years ago, and remains committed to supporting serving members and veterans with a permanent mental or physical injury to adapt to their new normal and overcome their challenges. More information for those who wish to support our serving members and veterans can be found at https://www.soldieron.ca, by clicking on Give Support.
Photos provided by Team Invictus Canada
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