Prince Harry and his spouse Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, plan to spend Valentine’s Day in Whistler, B.C., to attend a coaching camp one 12 months forward of the 2025 Invictus Video games.

Prince Harry is the founding father of the Video games for wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans.

The aim of this week’s coaching camp is to help nations collaborating within the Video games to construct year-round adaptive sports activities applications.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are scheduled to hitch the contributors throughout a number of the occasions on the camp right this moment and Thursday in Whistler and on Friday in Vancouver.

Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 will host greater than 500 opponents from 23 nations and is scheduled to happen Feb. 8 to 16, 2025.

It is going to be the primary Invictus Video games to function winter sports activities, together with alpine snowboarding, nordic snowboarding, skeleton and wheelchair curling, however may even host indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball because it has beforehand.

Subsequent 12 months’s occasion will mark the seventh Invictus Video games, which had been created in 2014 by Prince Harry following his deployment in Afghanistan.

It is going to be the second time Canada hosts the Invictus Video games after Toronto’s Video games in 2017.

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Canadian veteran Mike Bourgeois competed for Group Canada on the Invictus Video games within the Netherlands in 2022.

“The street to restoration, for me, was all about psychological wellness and bodily wellness,” Bourgeois advised reporters on a bus travelling the Sea to Sky Freeway from Vancouver to Whistler for the coaching camp.

Bourgeois, who served as an infantry officer for about 22 years, suffered a spinal twine harm throughout his preliminary coaching with the Armed Forces. However, it went undiagnosed and he accomplished his service with a damaged backbone, which led to extreme degradation of his mobility and short-term reminiscence.

He later suffered a coronary heart assault, which set off his software to compete within the Invictus Video games in archery and biking. He was accepted to compete in 2020, although that was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Really, it’s life altering,” he mentioned of the Video games.

His spouse, Lori Bourgeois, mentioned it has additionally been therapeutic for his household.

“We recover from to the Netherlands and it was like this world opened up with 1000’s of individuals like us who’ve been by sickness and harm,” she mentioned. “And that’s the energy of the Invictus Video games.”

Mike Bourgeois mentioned he would have liked to compete within the Video games once more, however Canada sometimes permits veterans to take part in a single video games to permit different injured service members a chance to expertise therapeutic by sport.

He mentioned that therapeutic journey mustn’t finish when the Video games finish for contributors.

He now works as an envoy for the Invictus Video games and participates in sporting occasions all over the world — together with the 2023 Gran Fondo, a 122-kilometre biking race that takes the identical Sea-To-Sky route from Vancouver to Whistler.

“Most veterans who are suffering with bodily and psychological wellness should not linked to help networks,” he mentioned. “So, the entire studying journey of the Invictus program is about studying that you simply’re not alone, studying that your households should not alone.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Feb. 14, 2024.


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