Prince Harry announces Toronto will host 2017 Invictus Games

The Invictus Games, the world's only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick soldiers and veterans, are coming to Toronto in September 2017.

Event to feature more than 600 military competitors from 16 countries

Prince Harry says Toronto's hosting of the Invictus Games coincides well with Canada celebrating its 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. (Kensington Palace/Twitter)

The Invictus Games, the world's only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick soldiers and veterans, are coming to Toronto in September 2017.

Prince Harry made the announcement in a three-minute video posted on Kensington Palace's official Twitter account. 

"I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Invictus legacy will continue when Toronto hosts the third Invictus Games," the prince said in a release. 

The event aims to help soldiers and veterans become inspired to recover and rehabilitate after becoming ill or injured. It also aspires to help people gain a wider understanding and respect for those who serve in uniform.

The games are expected to include more than 600 military competitors from 16 nations competing in 12 sports, organizers said online.

"2017 is a year steeped in rich Canadian military history, marking the anniversaries of historic battles that shaped and defined the nation. It's also the year that Canada will commemorate its 150th anniversary of Confederation," Prince Harry said in the video.

"I cannot think of a better way to mark this milestone than by paying tribute to the soldiers and veterans who have served their country so bravely and to support them along their journey to recovery," he stated.

"You really will not want to miss this."

The event was first hosted by London in 2014 and Orlando will follow suit by becoming the next home of the games in May of this year. 

It was also announced that Prince Harry will visit Toronto in May 2016 to officially launch the 2017 Invictus Games.

"These games have shone a spotlight on the 'unconquerable' character of servicemen and women, their families and the 'invictus' spirit," Prince Harry stated in a quote posted on the Invictus Games Foundation website.

In a release, Bruno Guévremont, Canada's 2016 Invictus Games captain, said the event provides current and former soldiers with an opportunity to push their minds "beyond what we thought was possible" and to represent individual countries shoulder-to-shoulder as they once did.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne stated in the same statement that the games will build on the success of the 2015 Pan Am Games hosted by the city while Toronto Mayor John Tory said he is proud to help welcome participants and looks forward to the event.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr noted having Canada host the games is a "great honour."

The prince founded the games after a 2013 visit to the U.S.-based Warrior Games, a domestic sporting competition for ill and injured American service members and veterans. Looking to establish an expanded version of those games, he set up the Invictus Games, named after the Latin word for unconquered.

For more details, you can follow @InvictusToronto on Twitter or check out the website for the event.

With files from The Canadian Press


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