Dominic Reid, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation, calls Victoria’s bid “fantastic” but also points to its location on Vancouver Island as a challenge. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Greater Victoria competes against Germany’s seventh largest city for Invictus Games

Island location may leave bid for Invictus Games stranded

Greater Victoria’s island location may hurt its case as it competes against Germany’s seventh largest city Duesseldorf for the right to host the 2022 Invictus Games as one of two finalists, with a final announcement not until November, the public heard Monday.

Dominic Reid, chief executive officer of the Invictus Games Foundation, praised Greater Victoria’s bid to host the games for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women and veterans founded and sponsored by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, but also highlighted a drawback when pressed for specifics.

“There are lots of strengths, it’s very, very clear,” he said in calling Victoria a “wonderful potential host city” that has a lot going for itself. “The community spirit is terrific,” he said. “But as you know…if you want something that is a little bit of a challenge, you are on Vancouver Island. It is somewhere where you gotta bring people to from around the world.”

This said, Reid tried to downplay the significance of Victoria’s location. The final decision will turn on a variety of factors, he said, adding that Victoria has impressed him. He later pointed out that Sydney in Australia has hosted the games. “I don’t think it [location] is necessarily a determining factor,” he said. “But it is something that people are more and more considering. You got to remember that are your dealing with a constituency for whom getting around has become an issue.”

RELATED: Victoria hopes to host 2022 Invictus Games

RELATED: Greater Victoria’s bid for the Invictus Games faces tough competition

The physiological effect of an 11-hour-flight to North America for a triple amputee is not insignificant, he said.

Duesseldorf, 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 boasts a wide variety of facilities and cultural attractions, prompting Mercer, a global consulting company, to rank Duesseldorf as the sixth most livable city in the world, behind Vancouver (2nd place) but ahead of several major cities around the world.

Reid said the foundation will review both bids after their respective visits to London on Sept. 17. Following internal deliberations, the foundation will enter negotiations with the preferred host city, he added.

“There are number of processes we need to go through to make sure that people have the time to ask questions, and for us also to make sure that both of us [the foundation and the host city] are comfortable,” he said.

The eventual announcement will likely not come until November of this year, he said.

Peter Lawless, who heads Victoria’s bids, said the games and Victoria are “perfectly matched” for each other because of Greater Victoria’s status as a military community, as well as its reputation for producing top athletes. The scale of the games also fit the community, he added. Current estimates peg the total cost of hosting the games at $39 million.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, Lisa Beare, provincial minister of tourism, arts and culture, and Lawrence MacAulay, minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence, also spoke in favour of the bid.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Development will bring 77 new homes to Colwood

Developers preparing land for six-storey, four-storey and two three-storey buildings on Sooke Road

Oak Bay, Esquimalt firefighters headed up the big climb Sunday

Oak Bay firefighter joins former Esquimalt assistant chief for 48-storey stair climb

Kids learn the ropes of business with free UVic entreprenuership training

The second annual Kidovate program is now open for registration

Island teen climber seizes last opportunity to qualify in 2020 Olympic games

Brennan Doyle, 16, heads to L.A. for Pan American Climbing Championships

Folk-roots duo play Metchosin’s music coffee house

Event takes place at 4430 Happy Valley Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read