Invictus Games tickets go on sale as 100-day countdown begins
Canada's team, unveiled Thursday, made up of 90 athletes who've had illness or injury while in service
The strength of Canada's team at the upcoming Invictus Games in Toronto lies in the bond between the veterans and armed forces members who form the group, the team's co-captain said Thursday as organizers marked the 100-day countdown to the international sporting competition.
The games, founded by Prince Harry, will be held in Toronto Sept. 23-30 and will mark the first time Canada hosts the event.
The competition for wounded, injured and sick troops, including current and veteran members of the forces, aims to use sport to inspire recovery and draw awareness to the physical and psychological injuries suffered by service members.
Canada's team, unveiled Thursday, is made up of 90 athletes who have acquired a physical or mental-health injury or illness while in service.
A source of motivation, say some
"It's... the events that happened that bond us together," said co-captain Maj. Simon Mailloux. "It's a special thing to come back and to do a different kind of challenge, a sport one, and represent Canada again."
Canada's team is already training at a camp in Kingston, Ont., after a previous training camp in British Columbia.
Mailloux said the games are a source of motivation for veterans and active service members.
"I've lost a leg in Afghanistan and sport has been the way for me to rehabilitate and be able to redeploy back, and be able to serve again."
Tickets to the games went on sale Thursday. Sporting event tickets cost $25 and opening ceremony tickets start at $60.
Organizers also announced the Canadian musical talent, including Alessia Cara, Sarah McLachlan and The Tenors, that will perform at the opening ceremonies.
There will be 550 competitors from 17 countries coming to Toronto to compete in 12 sports, including track and field, swimming and, in a first for the Invictus Games, golf.
Michael Burns, CEO of Invictus Games Toronto 2017, said spectators will be amazed to see what the competitors will do — especially if they know how far they've come, with some of the competitors struggling just to get out bed months ago.
"These are people who are used to winning, because they had to on the field of battle," he said.
The first Invictus Games were held in London, England, in 2014.