Invictus Games

Legion Magazine’s features and articles involving the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto and upcoming events involving the games.

Always serving
Invictus Games

Always serving

You didn’t see any national flag raisings at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. There were no national anthems played at medal ceremonies, either. And while competition among the Games’ wounded, sick and injured warriors was fierce and the fans—a disproportionate number of them families and friends—were fervent, camaraderie and universal support were the order of the day. The triumph was in getting there. Or as the Games’ founder, Prince Harry, told the ragtag collection of athletes, some young, some not so young: “These Games are not about gold, silver or bronze medals. They never have been. They are about the journey that you and your families have made to the start line.” In Toronto, you saw it at the track as competitors waited at the finish line for stragglers, some e...
The prince with a common touch
Front Lines, Invictus Games

The prince with a common touch

Mike Trauner was a prisoner in his own home until a few inspiring words from Prince Henry of Wales, better known as Harry, set him free. As a master corporal with 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Trauner lost both legs and sustained other major wounds in a 2008 double bomb blast in Afghanistan. In May 2016, he was recovering from yet another surgery when he met Harry at the official launch leading to the Toronto Invictus Games. Trauner had been “trapped” at home since his last operation—one of 18—and, after a long year of slow recovery, was feeling frustrated and depressed. Then 2017 Invictus Games CEO Michael Burns invited him to Toronto. Prince Harry, founder of the Invictus Games and himself a war veteran, approached Trauner at a reception, introduced himself and asked t...
Invictus Games will evolve, patron says
Front Lines, Invictus Games

Invictus Games will evolve, patron says

When it comes to the future of the now-annual event that he created, Prince Harry is an optimist—meaning he doesn’t believe there will be a perpetual need for the Invictus Games as we now know them. Ideally, he suggests, the competition for sick and wounded warriors won’t be around forever, at least not in the form it is now. But when that change will take place, and what form it will take, are still up in the air. “I’ve said many times before, Invictus has got a shelf life,” Harry told interviewer Brian Williams at the closing of the Games’ third instalment, in Toronto. “The conveyor belt of wounded coming back from war has ceased to a certain extent. “But for us at the Invictus Games Foundation, it happens every year. We think we’ve made a decision and then we come to the Games ...
Researcher finds much to study in Invictus Games
Front Lines, Invictus Games

Researcher finds much to study in Invictus Games

Preliminary findings of a three-part Dalhousie University study into the physical and psychological benefits of sport to wounded veterans and their families have told athletes what most already know: sport is good. Nevertheless, the most important element of Celina Shirazipour’s work may come down the road, when she determines and likely influences the long-term benefits of participation in the Invictus Games. Delivered at a conference on military health issues held in conjunction with the Games in Toronto, her research acknowledges that it’s a well-established fact that adaptive sport has multiple short-term physical, psychological and social benefits. Yet past studies haven’t delved into the long-term impact of sport, how benefits are achieved, how they affect families and how p...
The Wounded
Invictus Games

The Wounded

Essay and photography by Stephen J. Thorne They have been the forgotten heroes of wars from time immemorial, all but invisible as they swim the seas and scale the mountains that their wounds, physical and psychological, have laid before them. It’s the war dead who get the attention. And rightly so, the wounded will say. Most don’t seek sympathy or accolades in their sacrifice and struggles, triumphs and defeats. They emerge from the shadows to demand what is due, and recede again. “With regard to my stories,” wrote one soldier, who politely declined to participate in this project, “I’d prefer to keep them in my head. It’s nothing against you or the public, but I would rather be the quiet professional and put the war behind me.” Many say they have changed, that their ordeals hav...
Lights out
Invictus Games

Lights out

PORTRAIT OF INSPIRATION “The person who put that bomb under our vehicle and blew it…did not defeat me,” says Simon Mailloux Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne Major Simon Mailloux started officer training at Fort Saint-Jean, Que., south of Montreal one month before 9/11. He was in history class when everything stopped as students and teachers alike watched the twin towers come down. “Some people started talking about how we should start putting sandbags in front of the place and crazy talk like that,” he recalls. “But we discussed it later on, the implications of it. We didn’t know who did it but [we knew] Canada was going to get involved.” The Quebec City native had no doubt it would have implications for his budding career. “You joined the army because y...
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