Retired Canadian soldier credits Invictus Games with saving his life
Published Thursday, May 19, 2016 8:21PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 19, 2016 10:03PM EDT
For 20 years as a soldier and search and rescue technician, working out was just part of Nicolas Meunier’s routine.
The exercise helped him recover from the numerous injuries he suffered during his time on duty, including damage to his knees, shoulders, hands, face and 22 broken ribs.
Eventually, all the injuries caught up to him, forcing him to retire. It was when he was back to being a civilian that the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder began.
“I was not myself,” he said. “My guys were coming to my house to take me out because I was isolating myself. I was not eating properly, I overdosed on medication.”
A friend soon told him about the Invictus Games. Founded by the U.K.’s Prince Harry in 2014, the games are for wounded and injured veterans from across the world. The 2015 games were held in Orlanda, FL between May 8 and 12.
Inspired to take part, Meunier got back into the gym.
“I think everyone needs a motivation in life to reach something,” he said. “If you don’t have a goal, where’s the purpose? You need to find a purpose to keep going.”
Meunier signed up for five events, including archery. With a state-of-the-art bow loaned to him by Canada’s Olympic Team, he won several silver medals in Orlando.
Though training is not easy, Meunier is already back at it, hoping to bring home gold at next year’s games, which will be held in Toronto.
“The pain is there, but at the end of the day, you don’t look at the journey of pain, but the reward of it,” he said. “I think sport keeps me going now and will keep me going for a long time.”