Team Canada returned home yesterday from the experience of a lifetime at the 2019 U.S. Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Florida.
While Team Canada’s showing on the podium was an impressive one, the true impact of the event extends far beyond the medal count and even the Games themselves. The inspiring performance of each athlete is a testament to their strength and resiliency, as well as to the important role of sports in supporting the recovery of ill and injured armed service members and veterans.
This year Team Canada was comprised of 36 serving Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who competed in 13 sports against more than 300 ill and injured armed forces members and veterans from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The Games officially came to an end on June 30, with Team Canada having won a total of 21 medals, including 10 gold, 5 silver, and 6 bronze.
“Congratulations to all of the members of Team Canada on a terrific showing at the 2019 Warrior Games. Your determination and strength in overcoming challenges, both on and off the battlefield, to represent Canada is an inspiration to us all. Thank you to the US Department of Defense and the city of Tampa for hosting. We’ll see you next year in San Antonio!”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
“With the conclusion of the Warrior Games, everyone on Team Canada should be proud of their results but more importantly, their recovery journey. Seeing the strength of these athletes serves as an inspiration to all Canadians in overcoming their own obstacles and hardships. Congratulations to all participants, organizers, and volunteers on a job well done.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“Participating in these Games has been an incredible, life-changing experience. Sports have given me an outlet that I never thought I’d have again and made me realize that I am not alone. Thank you to my teammates and coaches, to the new friends I’ve met in Tampa, to the Soldier On program, and to my family and friends – I couldn’t have done this without you. And to all those wondering if they should give sports a try or whether they are even capable…the answer is yes!”
Corporal Nick Kerr, Member of Team Canada and Heart of the Team award recipient
Sergeant (retired) Marion Kelly from St. Catherines, Ontario won four gold medals in individual swimming competition, setting four Warrior Games records in the process, in the women’s 50 metre freestyle, 100 metre freestyle, 50 metre backstroke, and 50 metre breaststroke in her classification.
Master Seaman Laura Livesey from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories won two gold in individual swimming competition in the women’s 100 metre freestyle and 50 metre backstroke, as well as two silver in the 50 metre freestyle and 50 metre breaststroke in her classification.
Corporal Nick Kerr from Edmonton, Alberta won bronze in individual swimming competition in the men’s 50 metre backstroke in his classification.
Master Seaman Laura Livesey from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Master Corporal (retired) Frieda Van Putten from Victoria, British Columbia; Sergeant (retired) Marion Kelly from St. Catherines, Ontario; and Australian Narelle Mason (subbing in for the injured Petty Officer Second Class Lisa Nilsson from Sooke, British Columbia) won gold in the women’s swimming relay.
Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Dandurand from Stittsville, Ontario; Sergeant (retired) Robert Gagnon from Rothesay, New Brunswick; Master Corporal Pierre Desrosiers from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; and Corporal Nick Kerr from Edmonton, Alberta won bronze in the men’s mixed classification swimming relay.
Captain (retired) Kristina Moreau from Courtice, Ontario; Corporal (retired) Natalie Champagne from Spruce Grove, Alberta; Corporal Nick Kerr from Edmonton, Alberta; Sergeant (retired) Peter Sova from Fredericton, New Brunswick; Captain (retired) Daniel Germain from Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec; and Sergeant (retired) Robert Gagnon from Rothesay, New Brunswick won gold in team golf competition.
Captain (retired) Derek McDonald from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland won gold in men’s 4-minute indoor rowing and silver in the 1-minute event, setting a Warrior Games record in the 4-minute row.
Captain (retired) Kristina Moreau from Courtice, Ontario won gold in 10-metre air rifle shooting.
Sergeant (retired) Peter Sova from Fredericton, New Brunswick won silver in men’s powerlifting.
Master Corporal (retired) Frieda Van Putten from Victoria, British Columbia won silver in women’s cycling time trials.
Master Corporal (retired) Stephane Jobin from the City of Quebec, Quebec won bronze in men’s 100 metre and 200 metre track events.
Captain (retired) Jennifer Sizer from Victoria, British Columbia won bronze in women’s powerlifting.
Corporal (retired) Natalie Champagne from Spruce Grove, Alberta won bronze in women’s individual golf competition.
Corporal Nick Kerr from Edmonton, Alberta won bronze in men’s individual golf competition.
Team Canada represented our nation in all 13 sports at the Warrior Games, including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, field, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, powerlifting, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, and golf.
The Warrior Games, established in 2010, helped inspire His Royal Highness Prince Harry to create the Invictus Games. Both competitions are focussed on the important role that sport can play in improving the lives of ill and injured armed forces members, veterans, and their families.
The participation of Team Canada in the 2019 Warrior Games was made possible through the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group’s Soldier On program, in partnership with Invictus Games Toronto 2017, and Under Armour. Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, Soldier On has disbursed approximately $7 million to more than 5,000 ill and injured members across the country in support of their recovery. If you wish to help support our serving members and veterans, please visit https://www.soldieron.ca and click on Give Support.