The In­vic­tus Games, com­ing to Canada in 2017

Canadian Running - - NEWS -

Iam the mas­ter of my fate, I am the cap­tain of my soul.” Truer words were never spo­ken when talk­ing about the sac­ri­fice and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of ser­vice­men and women both serv­ing and vet­er­ans hav­ing en­dured both vis­i­ble and in­vis­i­ble in­juries, while serv­ing their coun­tries.

On Sept. 2 4–30, 2017, Toronto will host more than 550 com­peti­tors from 17 al­lied na­tions com­pet­ing in 12 adap­tive sports at the third In­vic­tus Games, es­tab­lished in 2014 by Prince Harry, a vet­eran of the war in Afghanistan, com­plet­ing two tours. These Games will see a first in any sport­ing com­pe­ti­tion: both able-bod­ied and dis­abled ath­letes com­pet­ing side-by-side.

The In­vic­tus Games rep­re­sents more than just a field of com­pe­ti­tion. It will be a dis­play of hun­dreds of un­told sto­ries of strug­gle, therapy, ca­ma­raderie and jour­neys to re­cov­ery through sport.

Take Team Canada’s co-cap­tain, Capt. Si­mon Mail­loux, an of­fi­cer in the Cana­dian Armed Forces’ Royal 22nd Reg­i­ment, also known as the Van Doos.

Af­ter los­ing his lower leg i n an ied at­tack dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Athena in 2007 in Kan­da­har, Afghanistan, Mail­loux’s goal was al­ways to re­turn and con­tinue his mis­sion. Re­cov­ery was not go­ing to be easy – but with fam­ily sup­port and true-grit de­ter­mi­na­tion, Mail­loux’s in­volve­ment in adap­tive sport changed his out­look on his in­juries and abil­i­ties. Not only did he re­turn to Afghanistan, but now he will be join­ing other ser­vice­men and women com­pet­ing at the 2017 In­vic­tus Games. Mail­loux will be com­pet­ing in deck hockey and all track dis­tances.

“These Games are dif­fer­ent be­cause it keeps the voices of our sac­ri­fice alive,” says Mail­loux. “We train, com­pete and try to win, but in the end, shar­ing our sto­ries, healing and shak­ing hands with Cana­di­ans is what it’s all about. Spec­ta­tors may end up cheer­ing more for the last per­son to fin­ish a race rather than be­ing first. They’ve al­ready won by show­ing up on that start line, in spite of men­tal or phys­i­cal in­jury. For some, that jour­ney starts right now to be ready for Septem­ber 2017.”— Mary­lene Vester­gom

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