A ceremony at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center marks the passing of the Invictus Games from United States to Canada
BETHESDA, MD — On July 12, the Invictus Games flag was officially passed from the 2016 host country to the 2017 host country. The passing of the flag from Team USA to Team Canada co-captains officially charges Toronto with the responsibility of putting on an event that shines a light on the unconquerable spirit of our wounded warriors, and raises awareness and support of the recovery and health of our military personnel, veterans, and their families.
“Accepting this flag is a defining moment in awakening the spirit of my country. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of Fisher House, not only to Toronto’s Games, but to all of the men and women who will be competing there and the friends and families who will be watching and supporting them,” said Michael Burns, CEO of Invictus Games Toronto 2017. “The bar set by Ken Fisher and his team at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 was very high and we are aiming to expand on the amazing legacy.”
Fisher House Foundation, a long-time supporter and sponsor of the Invictus Games, hosted the ceremony. Speakers shared incredible stories about the rehabilitative power of sport and the important role of military families in the recovery of wounded, ill and injured veterans and service members.
“Adaptive sports gave me just what I needed: a way to compete again and so many amazing teammates that brought me under their wings and gave me advice on everything I was just learning in this new adaptive life,” said Captain Christy Wise, Invictus Games 2017 Team USA Co-Captain “I was blown away by how in an event with hundreds of competitors from all over the world our life stories could be so different. How and where we grew up, why we joined the military, and how we were injured are all so unique. But then in the Invictus Games, how we were all so similar!”
Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation and former Chairman of the 2016 Orlando Invictus Games and Burns addressed the audience. Competitors from Team Canada and Team USA, along with their families, also relayed their personal journeys to the Games and the role Fisher House has played in their experiences.
“No one goes to war and comes back unchanged. For some people, these changes mean months, even years, of arduous rehabilitation,” said Fisher. “Because the Invictus Games are about overcoming these challenges and celebrating accomplishments, each competitor taking part brings with them an inspirational story of triumph.”
Fisher House Foundation, the only American sponsor at the London 2014 Invictus Games and a leading supporter at the 2016 Invictus Games, is also announcing its renewed sponsorship and support for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 at the event.
The passing of the flag also launched the official Invictus Games Toronto 2017 National Flag Tour, a journey across Canada that will generate support for servicemen, servicewomen and veterans. The flag will be carried across the country as a physical representation of the unconquerable spirit of the competitors.
“There is so much pride [knowing] that Canada is hosting the next Invictus Games,” said Major Simon Mailloux, co-captain, Team Canada. “I know the military community will close ranks in support of us, but I’m also confident that Canadians from coast to coast will want to come out to support this inspiring competition!”
For images for the flag handover, visit the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/140354417@N03/
*Please note that expression of interest for media accreditation to the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 is now available online, for those who wish to access and cover the upcoming Games.
About the Invictus Games Toronto 2017
The Invictus Games use the power of adaptive sport to help wounded warriors on their journey to recovery. Established by Prince Harry, the inaugural Invictus Games took place in London in September 2014; the second, and equally successful, Games took place in Orlando in May 2016. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee is tasked with planning and executing a Games that will feature 550 competitors from 17 nations participating in 12 adaptive sports, including, for the first time, golf. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will capture the imagination of the Canadian public, corporations, and governments, as well as soldiers, veterans, and their families. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 are funded by the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario, City of Toronto as well as Presenting Partner Jaguar Land Rover and other partners and sponsors.
About Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, and in Europe, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $360+ million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members, as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
For more information:
About Fisher House or to interview Ken Fisher:
About the Games or to interview athletes:
Pj Kwong, Media Relations Coordinator
Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee
416 – 898 – 3095