Who’s supporting the Invictus Games Toronto 2017?
Invictus Games Toronto 2017 is thrilled to have a number of notable people who have pledged their support for the Invictus Games and the ill, injured and wounded warriors competing in the Games this September. Read on to learn more about who’s supporting the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.
Laura WrightLaura Wright is an English soprano and crossover singer, performing classical, folk and pop music as well as musical theatre. Discovered at age 14, Wright has performed at men’s and women’s rugby matches at Twickenham Stadium in London, as well as various internationally-known sporting events at the highest level. She was the first mezzosoprano to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London for the inaugural Invictus Games.
Mike MyersOntario-born actor, comedian, screenwriter and film producer Mike Myers is known for playing the title characters in the comedy films Wayne’s World, Austin Powers and Shrek. In 2003, Myers was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame; he also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In honour of his acclaimed career, Governor General David Johnston named him an Officer of the Order of The Tenors sont un groupe de Canada earlier this year.
Rick Hansen is a Canadian icon who has dedicated his life to creating a world that is accessible and inclusive for all. As an Invictus Games Ambassador, Rick will be sharing his message of hope and inspiration with the amazing athletes as well as the spectators enjoying the Games from around the world.
When Rick was 15yrs old, he suffered a spinal cord injury that would change the course of his life. Rehabilitation was a long journey, and Rick found support from mentors, including injured veterans, who challenged him to change his perception on disability and find opportunities to unleash potential.
Best known as the “Man In Motion” for undertaking an epic two-year year 40,000 km journey around the world in his wheelchair, Rick is also a three-time world champion, nine-time Pan Am gold medalist, and three-time Paralympic gold medalist. Now the Founder & CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization committed to creating a world without barriers for people with disabilities, Rick and his team work hard to change attitudes, create accessible spaces and liberate the amazing potential of people with disabilities.
Rick was also appointed to a three-year term as Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Forces Joint Personnel Support Unit, providing inspiration and support for currently serving and former ill and injured personnel, their families, and the families of the fallen.
Rick will be part of the Invictus Flag Raising Ceremony at Nathan Philips Square on September 22nd, and will also be a part of the Invictus Games Opening Ceremonies on September 23rd.
Michael “Pinball” ClemonsMichael “Pinball” Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership, personal character and integrity. The Economics graduate is the pro-football world record holder in all purpose yards which earned him induction into the CFL Hall of Fame. Michael was recently inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of fame in recognition of his tireless promotion of sports and his work in the community. He was also the first black head coach to win the Grey Cup in its 98 years, but is probably better known for his off the field exploits. Pinball is the founder of his own foundation whose most noteworthy project to date is building over 200 schools in third world countries. The author, philanthropist and entrepreneur is also a member of the distinguished Order of Ontario, and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community. Mike’s proudest accomplishment is to be the husband of Diane, and the father of Rachel, Raven and Rylie.
Dwayne De Rosario
A Scarborough native, Dwayne De Rosario grew up kicking a soccer ball and training on the field that is now the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Dwayne is a soccer scoring legend and proponent of amateur sport in Canada.
Dwayne De Rosario made his professional debut with the Toronto Lynx of the A-League at age 18. He is a four-time MLS (Major League Soccer) Cup Champion, all-time leading scorer for the Canadian national team, a seven-time MLS All-Star, 2012 MLS MVP, 2013 US Open Cup Champion and US Open Cup MVP and voted three-time Canadian Player of the Year. He is fifth on the all-time goal scorer list for MLS. De Rosario completed a lifelong dream of retiring from professional club playing for his hometown Toronto FC.
Retired Army Sergeant Noah Galloway was assigned to the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In December 2005, on his second tour of duty, he suffered the loss of his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee in an Improvised Explosive Device attack. Through a long recovery process, Galloway battled serious depression and won by focusing on healthy living and family. Now a fitness fanatic and motivational speaker, Galloway doesn’t take excuses from his clients, fans, or followers. A highly sought after public speaker, Galloway travels the world sharing his story, encouraging and motivating others to offer no excuses.
In 2014, Galloway was the first veteran and amputee to grace the cover of Men’s Health Magazine as the Ultimate Guy. He has been seen on many television programs, most notably as the third place winner on Season 20 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and the first season of FOX’s American Grit, where he led his team to victory. In 2016, Galloway released his first book. Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier. A firm believer in giving back to those in need, Galloway created the No Excuses Charitable Fund, which raises money and awareness for organizations that mean the most to him, including Operation Enduring Warrior and No Barriers. Find out more at www.noahgalloway.com.
Emmy Award winning and New York Times Best-Selling author Derek Hough, the only six time champion in franchise history of the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars, started dancing in his hometown of Salt Lake City, UT, at age 11. Just one year later, he moved to London to live and train with the top dance coaches in the world and attend the prestigious Italia Conti performing arts school where he studied theatre, music and dance.
A multi-talented entertainer, two-time Emmy Award winner and 9 time nominee for Best Choreography, Hough has also appeared in film, television and stage projects as an actor. He made his feature film debut for director Duane Adler and producer Robert Cort in the feature film Make Your Move and has a recurring role on the ABC series Nashville. His stage performances include Radio City Music Hall’s Spring Spectacular costarring alongside the Tony Award winning Laura Benanti and the critically acclaimed production of Footloose which he starred as the male lead in London’s West End. In December of 2016, Hough starred with Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Martin Short and Harvey Fierstein in NBC’s Hairspray Live!
In May of this year, Hough joined Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo at the judges table for the NBC series World of Dance. “World of Dance,” which launched as the highest rated summer show in over ten years, is an unparalleled dance competition that featured solo
artists competing against duos and crews in all genres of dance, including hip hop, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, and more competing for a one million dollar prize.
Hough can also add author to his growing list of credits. His memoir Taking the Lead; Lessons from a Life in Motion hit stands in August of 2014 and rapidly was named to the prestigious New York Times Best-Seller list during two non-consecutive time periods. In 2014 Hough and his sister Julianne teamed for a live stage dance concert MOVE Live on Tour performing in 50 cities around the country, in 2015 they toured again selling out scores of venues on their 47 city outing. In 2017 they again performed a sold out tour of 48 cities around the United States with their show Move – Beyond – Live on Tour.
With celebrity partners on Dancing with the Stars that have included Brooke Burke, Jennie Garth, Ricki Lake, Maria Menounos Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley, Amy Purdy and Bindi Irwin, Hough is best known for his innovation and daring choreography on the show. Hough is the winningest professional dancer with six Mirror Ball Trophies. His work has brought him Emmy nominations and inquiries from the film and music world regarding his dance knowledge and ability.
Born on June 13, 2000, in Toronto, Ontario, swimmer Penny Oleksiak is Canada’s youngest Olympic gold medallist and holds the nations record for most Olympic medals at a single summer Games. In her short career she has become known for her exciting come from behind victories, winning four Olympic and six World medals; as well as being awarded the 2016 Lou Marsh Award, given annually to Canada’s Top Athlete.
Oleksiak qualified for her first senior national team at age 15; and four months later, competed at her first senior event – the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It was there where she shot to national prominence after winning four medals (one gold, one silver and two bronze) and was bestowed the honour of being Team Canada’s flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.
Oleksiak is currently completing high school in Toronto and is an advocate for several worthy causes, especially those connected to issues of inclusion, mental and physical health for kids in Canada.
General Rick HillierGeneral Rick Hillier OC, CMM, ONL, MSC, OF, is a former chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Armed Forces (February 2005 to July 2008) and the highest-ranking Newfoundland and Labrador officer in history.
Jody MiticJody Mitic is a retired master corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces who lost both of his feet while serving in the Afghanistan war in 2007. He became a motivational speaker and an advocate for wounded veterans and people with disabilities, and appeared on Season 1 of The Amazing Race Canada. His memoir Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian Sniper is a perennial bestseller. He currently serves as an Ottawa city councillor.
Bruno GuevremontBruno Guevremont is a Veteran, Entrepreneur, North Pole Explorer, and Invictus Games Ambassador – among many other things. From leading a team of 30 ill and injured soldiers and veterans as Captain of the Team Canada at the 2016 Invictus Games, to giving clients a new outlook on life through fitness and life coaching – Bruno is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of the Veteran and Emergency services community.
Jeff VirgoJeff Virgo competed in the inaugural Invictus Games in London, UK in 2014 and the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. After suffering spinal cord injury in 2004, Jeff believes that playing sports has a big impact on recovery and moving forward. Jeff is dedicated to serving his community and is a peer support volunteer, coach and trainer.
Stephan MoreauProud supporter Stephan Moreau is a former member of the Royal Canadian Navy and Invictus Games Team Canada who suffers from PTSD. For Stephen, competing in the 2014 and 2016 Invictus Games proved to be an extremely positive, lifechanging experience. After leaving the military, Moreau went back to school in mechanical engineering technology to be able to help people with mobility issues. He is very excited about cheering on all the athletes at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017!
Major-General Lewis MacKenzie
Lewis MacKenzie, CM, OOnt, MSC(2), CD, is a retired infantry officer best known for his command of UN Sector Sarajevo which, with soldiers from the Van Doos and RCR, opened the Sarajevo airport for the delivery of food and medicine, kick-starting the longest humanitarian airlift in history.
“I’m excited to be a part of the Invictus Games not only because they showcase these amazing athletes but also because they bring focus to veterans’ capabilities and accomplishments. The men and women who compete represent what is possible and I’m thrilled to help bring attention to their inspiring stories.”
– Noah Galloway, Champion of the Games