‘Ottawa’ Coun. Jody Mitic Hints he May Compete at 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto
The gravity of the moment struck Jody Mitic as he took the podium in Toronto on Monday to speak to wounded veterans and their supporters for the launch of the 2017 Invictus Games.
He was flanked by Prince Harry, who spearheaded the inception of the international Olympic-style competition for wounded soldiers, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and chief of defence staff Jonathan Vance.
“I realized as I was taking the podium I’d be addressing most of the people I had ever sworn an oath to in my life. It was a very surreal moment,” said Mitic, the Ottawa city councillor and Canadian soldier who was asked to serve as ambassador to next year’s Games in Toronto.
“To be a part of the Invictus Games opening was massive for me, personally and professionally. It allowed me to be in a room with hundreds of soldiers and those who support soldiers, and to welcome and wish well our team that’s going down to Orlando to compete (in the second-ever Invictus Games), and to kick off the Toronto games.”
Mitic, a sniper who lost both his feet to a landmine blast in Afghanistan in 2007, said he only wished “we’d had something like the Invictus Games when I was wounded.
“Your first weeks and months in recovery can set the tone for years to come,” he said. “And I did my best, and the system supported me, and my family and friends supported me, but if I had something like the Invictus Games, and mentors ready to welcome me home and let me see what I was capable of, I just wonder what I would have accomplished with that kind of example in front of me.
“When you’re injured, you feel like you’re alone, you feel like you’re the only one in the whole world that’s going through it, and when you’re put in a room of high achievers and athletes, and those who aren’t willing to give up, you realize you’re not alone. They’re going through the same things, and you lean on each other.
“You see it’s possible, you see the realm of possibilities when you’re involved in these types of things.”
Mitic said he had his “Royal moment” with the Prince, exchanged pleasantries and snapped a few selfies, but said he was struck most by his brothers- and sisters-in-arms.
“It’s a humbling, massive honour for me to be considered worthy of addressing that crowd,” he said. “I know they’ll do Canada proud.”
Mitic may be spending a lot more time in a room with the Canadian competitors. He’s being encouraged to join their ranks in time for next year’s Games in Toronto, where he may add “competitor” to his role of ambassador.
“We’ll see where I’m at, but there’s nothing I won’t do to support my brothers and sisters,” he said. “If I was a betting man, I’d bet on me competing at the 2017 Invictus Games.”