The 2025 Invictus Games have been awarded to Vancouver and Whistler in Canada, it was announced Friday by The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry in The Hague, Netherlands. The annual multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women held since 2014 will for the first time include winter sports on the program.
The event’s founder Prince Harry, currently presiding over this years event underway in The Hague said “as Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I am extremely excited to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has selected Canada to host the first-ever Winter Hybrid Games in 2025.”
Along with the traditional sports staged at the Games including indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball, the Canadian project has proposed Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Skeleton, and Wheelchair Curling for the program. In 2010 Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and are now preparing a bid to do the same in 2030 with First Nations leaders at the helm.
Prince Harry said “with deep respect, I’m also pleased to share that the [Invictus] Games in Canada will be held in partnership with the First Nations, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities.”
Planned to be held on the traditional territories of the x ʷ məθ kʷə y əm (Musqueam), S ḵwxw ú7mesh (Squamish), St ó:lō and S ə l ílw ətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, Skalulmecw L íl wat ̓ Nation and the G élpcal L ílwat Nation, the Vancouver and Whistler organizing committee are working to respond to Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and ensure Indigenous protocols are respected in all aspects of the Games. The event will be hosted in partnership among True Patriot Love Foundation, the Government of Canada, the province of British Columbia and First Nations in Vancouver and Whistler.
The 2025 event is expected to attract over 500 competitors from 20 nations and will be held across the region in February. This year’s edition was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada will become the first nation to host Invictus twice after staging the event in Toronto in 2017. London organized the inaugural event in 2014. Vancouver and Whistler were elected after a competitive bid process, according to the Invictus Games foundation, however no details were provided.
“I’m excited that Canada will host the 2025 Invictus Games,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.
“In partnership with the True Patriot Love Foundation, we look forward to welcoming competitors to beautiful British Columbia where their athleticism, drive, and competitive spirit will be on full display in the first-ever Winter Invictus Games.
“Canadians look forward to welcoming you once again.”
This month Vancouver was selected by FIFA as a possible host for 2026 World Cup matches at BC Place Stadium. A decision will be made later this year.
After The Hague, the next Invictus Games are scheduled for Düsseldorf, Germany in 2023.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.