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

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read