#InvictusGames, #PrinceHarry, #JustinTrudeau, #DavidJohnston, #MelanieTrump
Toronto, Sep 24 (Canadian-Media): Prince Harry, the royal visitor from England, who had co-founded the Invictus Games in 2014 was full of praise for the courage that had brought dozens of war-wounded athletes to the Games as they marched, limped or wheeled their way to martial music, bright lights and cheers into a downtown sports arena, Toronto Ontario yesterday to mark the opening of the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto, media reports said.
Launch of 2017 Invictus games in Toronto. Image credit: Invictus Games Foundation
Before the games were officially declared open yesterday, Harry took to the stage to explain their meaning.
“In a world where so many have reasons to feel cyncial and apathetic, I wanted to find a way for veterans to be a beacon of light and show us that we all have a role to play – that we all win when we respect our friends, neighbours and communities,” he said.
“That’s why we created Invictus – not only to help veterans recover from their physical and mental wounds, but also to inspire people to follow their example of resilience, optimism and service in their own lives,” said Harry.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed all of the competitors and their families on behalf of the host country and called them all an inspiration to others as he spoke of their sacrifices and dedication to helping others.
Invictus reportedly means unconquered in Latin and the Games and the mandate behind the Games is not about individual winning, it’s about winning as a team, CBCNews reports said.
The first Invictus Games took place in London, England in 2014 where reportedly more than 400 athletes from 13 countries came together to compete.
Now in its third year, the Invictus Games is in Toronto and reportedly at least 550 competitors from 17 countries are expected to compete in 12 sports of these Games which will run until Sept. 30.
Harry, who served in Afghanistan -- located within South Asia and Central Asia -- with the British army for about two months, said he wanted to use his platform “to help the world understand and be inspired by the spirit of those who wear the uniform.”
“No matter what challenges life has set before them, they continue to do what they do best: serve their countries, with passion and integrity,” Trudeau said to cheers. “You’re not only here to inspire, you’re also here to win.”
Trudeau added, “We know that no one leaves a battlefield unchanged, and that not all scars can be seen. Asking for help when you have physical and mental injuries, that’s hard for everyone. But it’s especially tough for people like you who have dedicated your lives to helping others.”
American first lady Melania Trump was among dignitaries who watched the flag raising ceremony.
In addition to Canadian and foreign dignitaries, other celebrities present at the opening ceremony were comedian Mike Myers, and singers Alessia Cara and Laura Wright.
The games were officially opened by David Johnston, in one of his final acts as Governor General of Canada and he tweeted, 'I officially declared the #InvictusGames open during the opening ceremony. Good luck to all the competitors! #IG2017."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)