Sunday night, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, I had the privilege to take in the closing ceremonies of the 2017 Invictus Games.
My intent here isn’t to cover the event, as it has received plenty exceptional international coverage.
I simply wish to make an observation.
The human spirit that was on display in the hearts of the athletes, their families, and in all those present, was incredible. On Sunday evening, along with incredible music, I witnessed an inspirational group of war veterans, who are fighting their own personal demons, yet came together to challenge each other, in a spirit of athletic competition.
These men and women have taught me much about the Olympic spirit.
Several times throughout the night I was intrigued as to why more people didn’t take to their feet and dancing along to the beautiful music and celebrations. Then the reality swept over my temporary blindness. I realized that many of the athletes were in wheelchairs.
They have taught me much about the human spirit.
A spirit that is accessible to everyone, and at any time in your life.
It is never over. There is always an opportunity to shine.
There was a lot of smiles, hugs, and inspirational words celebrating the glory of human achievement.
This was an evening about hope.
Big or small. No matter. There is always hope.
And where there is hope, there is a chance for a meaningful today, and an opportunity to reembrace our dreams of tomorrow.
We all have limits.
Some of us no longer have arms, but those that do sometimes no longer find the strength or mental fortitude, to reach for anything.
It doesn’t matter who you are and what battles you face. It doesn’t matter how often you have failed, how often you’ve tried, and how many times you’ve cried.
The Invictus Games have taught me that there comes a time when we need to stand up for the things we believe in. There is a time to stand up for humanity. A time to stand up for each other. A time stand for ourselves.
I think we are all wounded warriors, in some way, and in some form.
I do not wish to diminish, in any way, the service and sacrifice soldiers make to ensure our freedom. I am simply saying that as human beings we have something in common. We are all in a battle. A battle of one kind or another.
We are in a battle against ourselves. A battle against our demons. A battle against disease. Addiction. Infidelity. Abuse. Loneliness. Our Finances. Our weight. Battle against time.
What a spirit of victory.
What an incredible spirit of hope.
I will be eagerly waiting and watching the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia, and I wish, that anyone who happens to read this, takes heart, and moves forward in a spirit of triumph.
Be a sign of hope to those you meet.