(Whistler) When Canadian broadcast veteran Scott Moore secured the position of president and CEO of the Invictus Games to be held in Vancouver and Whistler in 2025, he made sure to update his royal protocol in anticipation of his meeting with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“They are huge supporters of the Invictus Games,” Mr Moore said of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.
“I made sure to ask them how I should address them when they got here, and I was told that simple sir and ma’am would be fine. »
Prince Harry and Meghan will be in British Columbia this week for the Participating Nations Camp, where Invictus Games athletes and coaches from 19 countries will gather for sports lessons, including the new winter sports added to the Games. 2025, namely alpine skiing, snowboarding, skeleton, biathlon and wheelchair curling.
Mr. Moore says that to lead next year’s Games in British Columbia, he is drawing on his past experience, including at the CBC and as president of Sportsnet. But the Invictus Games are not “necessarily a purely sporting game,” he says.
“It’s sport as a transformative power,” he explained. It’s sports content, but it’s really about the participants and what they get out of it. »
Prince Harry is the founder of the sporting event for injured or ill military personnel or veterans.
Up to 550 competitors from more than twenty countries will take part in the event in British Columbia, which, in addition to new winter sports, will feature events such as indoor rowing, sitting volleyball , swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
Mr Moore says there is a unique camaraderie and collegial atmosphere between the competing nations, who send athletes physically and mentally injured as former members of the armed forces.
“They understand that what we are doing is participating in a sporting event, but also participating in everyone’s journey towards well-being,” he maintained.
A “lonely journey” of recovery
Retired Navy Lieutenant Stephen La Salle recently learned he had been selected to be a part of Team Canada at next year’s Games, and he hopes to reconnect with other injured veterans as well in the “journey lonely” of recovery.
Mr. La Salle, who lives in Ontario, lost his leg in an accident during a training exercise in 2018, and said it had been a difficult adjustment, both physically and mentally.
“You go from someone who was very active and (…) very athletic (…) to really adapting to a new lifestyle and not necessarily being as active as before and overcoming mental blocks to stay active “, he stressed.
“Physical activity is so important in managing the mental health aspect that comes from not only time spent (on duty), but also time spent being injured. »
Mr. La Salle says his participation in the Canadian Armed Forces Soldier On Program and the Invictus Games next year will give him the opportunity to connect with other injured veterans.
“Something like Invictus gives us some sort of reason, you know, to move forward,” he said.
“But the challenge, I think, for any veteran after being injured and discharged, it’s a very lonely journey, so being part of something like Soldier On and Invictus allows us to feel connected with other veterans and that community that we are so accustomed to and miss so much. »
The aim of this week’s training camp is to help nations participating in the Games develop suitable sports programs throughout the year.
Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to join participants at select camp events Wednesday and Thursday in Whistler and Friday in Vancouver.