With the 10-year anniversary of the Invictus Games  and with the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 less than a year away, True Patriot Love reached out to Team Canada alumni for their reflections on their Invictus experience and to find out where they are now.

Major (Retired) Patrick Lévis participated in the Invictus Games The Hague 2020/22.

  1. What memory from your Games stands out for you?

Coming to the 2022 Invictus Games with 10 months’ notice and barely any interaction with other teammates, I did not know what to expect. I had the misconception that this was an international sports competition, where everyone was an elite athlete. Once at the Games, I realized we were all of different abilities and each one was competing against themselves. The structure of the competition was there to encourage each and everyone of us to push through our challenges and self-imposed pressures, from being part of a sport team to stepping onto the start line. What stood out the most for me was realizing it didn’t matter what place you crossed the finish line but how you got there, which embodied the true purpose of the Games, where the benefits of sports outweigh the hardships.

  1. What did Invictus mean to you?

The Games was an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and try something new, like wheelchair racing or indoor rowing. As such, I knew the training wasn’t going to be easy and suffering from PTSD, I did not allow it to bring me down. There were moments I wanted to give up but pride kept me going. I took Invictus to heart and faced those challenges with determination and perseverance. Crossing the finish line, I knew I gave it all I had and knew the training had not been wasted.

  1. What advice would you give Team Canada 2025?

Focus on your journey and not that of others, as you will take different paths and arrive at different times. As long as you continue to improve yourself by being better tomorrow then you were yesterday, you are winning your race.

  1. What did you learn about yourself while training and when competing?

During the lead up to the Games, I was going through a lot of stress related to health, retirement, and home modification. What sports brought to me during this period was a moment to escape and coming to realize how to focus my energies on my mental and physical health. It was almost meditative, allowing me to slow down and take time to think of what brought me joy in life. Following each training sessions, I felt better coming out than going in. As time progressed, sport become my source of peace in life.

  1. How does your life look different now than it did before you went to the Invictus Games?

Prior to the 2022 Invictus Games, I had suffering from PTSD for over five years and was physically disabled for three. I had lost my identity, esteem, and purpose in life. Compounded with the COVID pandemic, my mental and physical health was spiraling out of control, and I was desperately searching for something to give me hope things could get better. Being invited to join the team in 2021 was a saving grace. My journey to recovery has had many challenges and continues to do so; however, I am far better off physically and mentally due to the incorporation of sports in my lifestyle. The Games changed my perspective in life as it is not a race or comparison, but a moment to understand and help each other to improve.