Invictus Games 2017: An Unforgettable Experience

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Posted by Matt Walter

This past September I had an experience I’ll never forget. On September 23rd 2017 the Mantralogix team gave me the unique opportunity to volunteer as a Parade Marshal in the Invictus Games.

Started in March of 2014 by His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales (commonly known as Prince Harry), the annual games give war veterans a chance to win their own personal battles and compete against each other in a series of sporting events over the course of seven days. The first Invictus Games were held in London, England, and this year Prince Harry brought the games to Toronto, Canada.

Upon arriving on a beautiful sunny day, I was greeted by other friendly volunteers excited to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  I was assigned the role of Parade Marshal, whose  job was to ensure the competing teams from around the world were brought from their hotels, cared for, and finally brought to the stage for their grand entrance at the Air Canada Centre.

It was a chance to connect with the athletes and to show them Torontonians were there to help and support the games.  I was assigned to the Danish team, which excited me because I really like the Viking era and thought it would be a cool experience to connect with them and their history.

It did not take long to see how war affected these young men and women. You could see in their eyes they had been through rough times. One athlete broke down as she was very anxious to go on stage, and to my amazement, teams from around the world came to her aid to comfort and encourage her. It was comradery I have never seen before. It was inspiring to me and made me wish there was more of that kind of support in our civilian day to day lives. Despite their challenges, the athletes’ spirit was greater than their obstacles.

Although I was giving my time as a volunteer, the Invictus Games gave me an opportunity that I will never forget. It opened my eyes to the effects of war, and the power that hope can bring people around the world. It reminded me I was a part of something much bigger than myself and it was a feeling I will remember for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank Mantralogix for the amazing opportunity, and Prince Harry for giving people around the world hope and purpose when they felt all was lost due to their challenges in life.


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