Veteran and Invictus Games athlete Tyson Tulk (left) and Cpl. Josh Cooper of CFS St. John’s hold the official flag for the 2017 Invictus Games at Cape Spear Wednesday as other members of the military — active and retired — look on. The flag, and the vehicle shown at right, will travel the country spreading awareness about the games and its spirit before heading to the opening ceremonies in Toronto in late September.
©Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
“It still doesn’t seem real actually,” said Tyson Tulk.
Tulk will be the only Newfoundlander making his way to Toronto, for the 2017 Invictus Games.
The Invictus Games use the power of adaptive sport to help wounded service men, women and veterans on their journey to recovery.
The games will consist of 550 competitors from 17 nations, and will take place in Toronto, Ont., from Sept. 23 to Sept. 30.
The competitors will take part in 12 adaptive sports including archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, golf, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby.
Tulk will be competing in three events. Archery will be his main event, followed by shot put and powerlifting.
“The whole experience is going to be surreal,” Tulk said Wednesday. “I’ve competed outside the military before, but nothing this extreme.”
Tulk spoke during a ceremony at Cape Spear to officially launch a national tour by the official flag for the games. In all 150 flagbearers will accompany the flag across the country, visiting military bases, Legion halls and important local monuments. The tour is aimed at spreading awareness of the games and the spirit it represents.
Tulk was injured on deployment, and medically released from the military in July 2015.
Prince Harry, patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, and other organizers announced they were inspired to bring the games to Canada in 2017, in honor of Canada’s 150 anniversary,
Jaguar Land Rover has been the presenting partner of the Invictus Games since the inaugural event in London, 2014.
Rick O’Neil, the Jaguar Land Rover dealer in this province, and says he is proud to be supporting the games.
“This vehicle is full of well wishes,” said O’Neil pointing out the inspirational quotes printed on the vehicle that will accompany the flag across the country before it arrives in Toronto for the games.
“We want to send words of encouragement from our team, to theirs.”
“I’m looking forward to the whole week,” said Tulk. “But I get to meet the Prince, so I mean, that’s pretty exciting.”