Q What is the Soldier On program and the role in Team Canada for Invictus?
A Soldier On is a program of the Canadian Armed Forces which contributes to the recovery of ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans by providing opportunities and resources through sport, recreational, and creative activities.
Soldier On, on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces, leads and manages Team Canada at the Invictus Games. In addition to selection, training, and delivering Team Canada to the games, Soldier On works in collaboration with the True Patriot Love Foundation and sponsors to ensure funding for the entire Team Canada inclusive to Friends and Families.
Q How many athletes will represent Canada at the Invictus Games at The Hague?
A Team Canada will be represented at the Invictus Games The Hague by 32 competitors plus an honourary member, including both serving Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who acquired an illness or a physical or mental health injury while serving Canada.
Q Who will these athletes be competing with?
A Members of Team Canada will be competing alongside approximately 500 competitors from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Q What sports will Team Canada compete in?
A Participants from Team Canada will take part in all nine sports featured at the Invictus Games at The Hague: archery, athletics, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby. In addition, Team Canada will participate in the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.
Q How have the athletes been selected to represent Team Canada at the Invictus Games at The Hague?
A The selection of Team Canada members was a fair and transparent process, with input from a variety of key stakeholder groups. Selections were made based on who could most benefit from the experience, ensuring representation of all ill and injured demographics of both serving Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans.
The spirit of the Invictus Games is not represented by medals of any colour, but rather the goal of the Invictus Games, and of Soldier On, is to harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country.
Q Will there be any returning members from past Invictus Games on the Team Canada squad?
A It will be the first Invictus Games for all Team Canada competitors. Soldier On provides opportunities for ill and injured participants to use sports and an active lifestyle to support their individual journey to recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration. As with all Soldier On events, it is important to provide this opportunity to as many participants as possible. Currently, Soldier On has supported more than 10,000 members since its inception in 2007.
Q Since Invictus was founded, what impact have you seen across the athletes who participate in the Games
A Participation in the Invictus Games has had a life-changing impact on Team Canada members. Using the Games as a stepping stone in their recovery, most have become inspired to maintain an active lifestyle for life, while others have gone on to coach or compete at a high level in their respective sports.
Q Why does the Invictus Games matter? Why does Canada send a team?
A The Invictus Games are focused on the important role that sports can play in improving the lives of ill and injured armed forces members, veterans, and their families. The goal of the Invictus Games is to inspire and improve the lives of as many ill and injured service members and veterans as possible. These goals align well with the efforts of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Soldier On program to help serving and retired members recover through sport, recreation, and creative activities.
Q How will the team be preparing for the Games in The Hague?
A The pandemic has made preparations more challenging than usual. Thus far, the team has taken part in two training camps held before the pandemic. The first took place in Quebec City in September of 2019. For the second, Team Canada was invited to train alongside the United States Marine Corps in San Diego from 27 February to 12 March 2020. Each athlete has also been linked with their coach and their chosen sports teams virtually. In this way, they were able to train as a team and support one another, regardless of location.
Q How many medals will Team Canada aim for at the Invictus Games The Hague 2020?
A Team Canada is not focused on medals; rather, the goal is to support serving Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans with permanent/chronic mental health and/or physical illness or injury as they adapt and overcome. We will measure our success in the positive experience of each participant as they use the Invictus Games to fuel their recoveries and inspire their ill and injured colleagues to adopt an active lifestyle.
Q What is the difference between the Warrior Games and the Invictus Games?
A The U.S. Department of Defense Warrior Games were established in 2010 and are held annually in the United States. The goal of the Warrior Games is to enhance the recovery of ill and injured armed service members and veterans through sport.
The Warrior Games inspired Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to create the Invictus Games. The Invictus Games, which began in 2014, are held internationally. The goal of the Invictus Games is to improve the lives of as many ill and injured service members and veterans as possible.
Both competitions are focused on the important role that sports can play in improving the lives of ill and injured armed forces members, veterans, and their families.