Greater Victoria could find out next month whether it will host the 2022 Invictus Games, according to the head of the local bid.
“I’m expecting to know mid-January,” said Peter Lawless. Victoria is competing again Germany’s Düsseldorf to host the games.
Wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel compete in the Invictus Games across multiple sports. The name of the competition stems from a poem titled Invictus (Latin for unconquered) by English poet William Ernest Henley in which the author (himself an amputee) celebrates physical and mental perseverance in the face of daunting odds.
Dominic Reid, chief executive officer of the Invictus Games Foundation, announced Victoria as one of the two finalists in late August following a tour of the region.
If Greater Victoria were to win the bid, the games would attract some 3,000 participants, as well as their family and friends, said Lawless. Lawless also told the public earlier this year that organizers are looking for a total of $39 million to stage the games, with organizers asking municipalities for some $700,000. About $27 million would come from the federal and provincial governments, $9 million from corporate sponsorship and $2 million from private fundraising.
Lawless said Victoria made its final pitch to the foundation in mid-September, then supplied additional information following the presentation. “We didn’t see anything of Düsseldorf’s presentation,” he said. An announcement was originally expected in November.
Lawless remains confident but also acknowledged that the competition is formidable.
“My overall assessment remains the same,” he said. “Our bid has a truly compelling vision that is hard to discount. However, Germany has never hosted the Games. So it’s a tough choice.”
Aspects in favour of Greater Victoria’s bid include its historic cultural ties to creator and patron of the games, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and the Canadian military, as well as its history of staging events of that size, as evidenced by the 1994 Commonwealth Games.
Potential drawbacks for the Victoria bid include the fact that Canada hosted the games in 2017 and its island location.
Düsseldorf, by contrast, lies in the heart of Europe. The status of its airport as the third-largest in Germany means the area is readily accessible. The city and its surrounding urban area also boast a wide variety of facilities and cultural attractions, prompting Mercer, a global consulting company, to rank Düsseldorf as the sixth most livable city in the world, behind Vancouver (second place) but ahead of several major cities around the world.
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