Invictus Games: Wounded warriors visit Montreal
Published Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:24AM EDT
The Invictus flag is travelling through Quebec this week in advance of the games that begin next week in Toronto.
After making stops at CFBs Bagotville and Valcartier, the flag came to Montreal on Wednesday and will be at CFB Saint Jean Thursday, before touring Ontario.
Nikita Rambarransingh was one of the flagbearers at the Royal Montreal Regiment in Westmount.
"I could not wait to have the honour and privilege to carry that flag," he said. "It's about bringing people together. Not just about the soldiers but about the population and citizens around the world."
Created by Prince Harry in 2014, the Invictus Games are an international sporting event for injured military veterans -- be those injuries physical or mental.
Having served in Afghanistan, Capt. Harry Wales wanted to make sure veterans were not forgotten as they returned from war, and to demonstrate the power of sports to rehabilitate lives.
Rambarransingh is one of many soldiers who believe veterans need better treatment.
"We need to wake up about that and take care of these people who have put their lives on the line for this country," he said.
Retired sergeant Nic Meunier is one of the competitors. He has difficulty walking after being injured more than 20 times, and following radiation treatment for cancer, he now relies on mechanical splints to walk.
He says the games help him heal, both physically and mentally.
"At the end of the day Invictus is a very good endeavour by Prince Harry to have a goal for us at least every year to go out and do something," said Meunier.
He will be one of 95 members on the Canadian team, competing in 12 different sports, as they raise awareness about military injuries.
"We still have to do a paradigm shift with the community especially in Canada and try and push and promote and help those veterans and military people," said Meunier.
The initial games took place in 2014 in the UK, and the second games took place in 2016. Invictus is now scheduled to be an annual event, with the 2018 Games to take place in Australia.
The Toronto games begin Sept 23 and will end on Sept. 30.