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)

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

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Council has recommended that the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) approve a cannabis retail application by Buds Cannabis. It plans to open the store in the 9700-block of Second Street. It would be the business’ second outlet (it has an outlet in Central Saanich) and the second such business in Sidney. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney recommends approval of licence for second pot shop

Councillors also push back against public concerns about Sidney’s image

Goldstream Food Bank president Gayle Ireland is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Community Volunteer of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Two-week stint at Goldstream Food Bank turns into 35 years of volunteer service

Goldstream Food Bank’s Gayle Ireland is the 2021 Community Volunteer of the Year

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read