Singing at In­vic­tus Games in­spir­ing for La Scie na­tive

‘I feel like I can do any­thing’

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CORY HUR­LEY

Rita Yade had been look­ing for­ward to singing at the open­ing cer­e­monies of the In­vic­tus Games for quite some time, but noth­ing pre­pared her for the uplifting and emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing part of it all.

A mem­ber of the 14 Wing Green­wood Mil­i­tary Wives Choir, she was part of the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir — neatly 200 women from across the coun­try — that sang with Laura Wright on open­ing night in Toronto last week.

“I know this was all about the soldiers, but to be there and per­form for them and see what they have gone through with their de­ter­mi­na­tion to not stop liv­ing just shows the kind of soldiers they are. It was so in­spir­ing,” Yade said via tele­phone back home in Green­wood.

“To see these soldiers from all over the world with dif­fer­ent dis­abil­i­ties, but they didn’t give up.”

The La Scie na­tive – wife of long-time mil­i­tary man Richard Yade — joined the Green­wood choir last year. Given the op­por­tu­nity to per­form “In­vin­ci­ble” with Wright at the open­ing cer­e­monies while the In­vic­tus flag was be­ing raised, she knew the event would be spe­cial.

The Games — which be­gan in 2014 and are be­ing hosted in Canada for the first time this year — are meant to in­spire re­cov­ery and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of wounded, in­jured and sick mil­i­tary men and women around the world through sport, while in­creas­ing public aware­ness of their strug­gles.

Yade is train­ing to run a half marathon in the fall, and she has strug­gled at times to meet the nec­es­sary train­ing regime. She hoped the ex­pe­ri­ence would Rita Yade poses for a pic­ture in Toronto, where she was one of the mem­bers of the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir that sang at the open­ing cer­e­monies for the In­vic­tus Games.

serve as mo­ti­va­tion, and im­me­di­ately after, she be­lieves it did.

“I feel like I can do any­thing,” she said. “… What do we have to com­plain about? We are so for­tu­nate. To see the strength these soldiers have given them­selves. That is what touched me.

“It was pow­er­ful. When they marched in, with the smiles on their faces, it was pow­er­ful.”

There was one other thing Yade hoped the event would ful­fill — bring­ing aware­ness to the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir. She be­lieves the at­ten­tion the choir re­ceived from the crowds in at­ten­dance and me­dia across the coun­try will do just that.

Bring­ing recog­ni­tion to the role the fam­i­lies of mil­i­tary per­son­nel play is im­por­tant, she said.

The ladies out of Green­wood — which

also in­cluded Dunville, NL na­tive Sandra Man­ning-Lo­gan — were treated like roy­alty, ac­cord­ing to Yade. Although a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed they didn’t get a chance to meet Prince Harry, pa­tron of the In­vic­tus Games, they did see him and were proud to sing for him, she said.

Other high­lights of the trip in­cluded meet­ing the other nearly 200 mem­bers of the choir, sign­ing and re­hears­ing with them and Wright, hav­ing singer Sarah McLach­lan speak to them and praise their per­for­mance, go­ing to the CN Tower and a Toronto Blue Jays game, the din­ners and other spe­cial events, spe­cial seat­ing to watch the re­main­der of the open­ing cer­e­monies, and a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to sing for the soldiers at the athletes’ vil­lage.

“It’s hard be­ing an artist,” she said with a laugh, re­fer­ring to the busy sched­ule. How­ever, it was back to work Mon­day in Green­wood, think­ing the only dis­ap­point­ing thing was that the ex­pe­ri­ence went by too fast.

She would have liked to have watched the week-long Games, but would set­tle for watch­ing them on tele­vi­sion. A lit­tle grounded per­haps, the star­dom be­gin­ning to pass, but the mem­o­ries ex­pected to last for­ever.



Rita Yade poses for a pic­ture prior to singing at the In­vic­tus Games as part of the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir.

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