Sheraton Centre Hotel lobby becomes 'borderless village' during Invictus Games
Athletes from around the world swarm to a big screen to watch other competitors in action
By Natalie Nanowski, CBC News Posted: Sep 26, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 26, 2017 5:00 AM ET
The lobby at the Sheraton Centre Hotel on Toronto's Queen Street West has become an impromptu athletes' village during the Invictus Games.
Couches and chairs have been pulled in front of a giant television screen so athletes and family members can cheer on current and former military personnel as they compete. Many are calling the area a "borderless village."
Here, people cheer as they watch Team USA wheelchair racer Nathan Dewalt cross the finish line, winning gold.
Erica Dewalt says watching her husband, Nathan Dewalt, compete has been an uplifting experience for the whole family. She says her children love seeing their dad's medals and running up to him after his events.
Steven Arnold (left) is the vice captain for the UK team: "Here in the hotel it's amazing with the big screen up and everyone is cheering each other on... It doesn't matter if you come in first or last. They're clapping for the winner and they're clapping for the guy that comes in last place."
Team Canada's Jessica Miller won a gold medal in shot put: "Five years ago to this very day, I was in an operating suite having my spine fused back together and then I had to learn how to walk again. So it's a pretty amazing experience to go from having metal put in my back to [a] medal around my neck."
It's Ulfat Al-Zwiri's second Invictus Games. This year she won a bronze medal for Jordan in the 100-metre wheelchair race.
Canada's Kelly Scanlan (left) and Mimi Poulin (right) say the Invictus Games are an empowering experience. Both women say they've been able to reclaim goals they'd thought were out of reach due to their injuries.
Australia's Michaela Gilewicz is competing in powerlifting and rowing for the first time. She says she finds Torontonians extremely friendly.
Children sign the "I AM" Invictus statue in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel. It's filled with lines of inspiration and hope.
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