In honour of the third Invictus Games, the official flag made its tour through Pictou County last week in anticipation of the games that will be taking place in Toronto this year from September 23 to 30.
For those who may not have heard of the games before, the first ones took place in London, England in 2014, modelled after the Warrior games from the United States. The games play host to athletes who are wounded, ill or injured soldiers or veterans.
This year there will be a total of 90 Canadian competitors in those games with about 550 competitors in total, from countries around the world. With each athlete able to take two friends or family members with them, plus spectators, the event promises to be a big one and something you won’t want to miss.
“One of the best things you can do for the competitors is to tune in,” said Frazer Hadwin, senior manager of special projects for the Invictus Games.
Invictus Games Toronto 2017, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, brought the National Flag Tour to Greenwood, Sackville, Caribou and Wood Island’s P.E.I. on September 6. The ceremonial flag will continue the journey across Canada with flagbearers Craig Moore, Barbara Cameron, Brian MacEachern and Heidi Hutchings Kays.
The tour is to celebrate the upcoming games and spread the word about them so all of Canada can tune in. The tour is making its way through 22 military bases and legions as well as over 50 communities.
“Our mission is turning empathy into empowerment if we all had the sense of community around the service men and women it helps their rehabilitation,” Hadwin said.
Brian MacEachern had the chance to compete in the second Invictus games and was carrying the flag through its tour in Pictou County. He was previously a combat engineer out of CFB Gagetown. When he competed in the games he took part in cycling, shot put and discus.
“I really hope I can touch somebody,” he said. “It turned me around and made me competitive again.”
Military athletes from 16 countries are competing in 12 events that include archery, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
The Games are named after ‘invictus’, the Latin word for ‘unconquered’ or ‘undefeated’.
Brian MacEachern, left, poses with his family Leala, 6 and Jennifer and Jema, both 7, at the Caribou Ferry Terminal before heading to P.E.I. for the next leg of the tour. (Brimicombe photo)