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Invictus Games 2018 - Cory and Jason

Invictus Games

Invictus Games 2018 - Cory and Jason

WARRANT OFFICER CORY NOWELL (Team Canada Member): Hi there, my name is Cory Nowell. I am a member of Team Canada, Invictus Games 2018. My journey so far – so I arrived here at the Invictus Games, I have been a part of the cycling team, I’ve been a part of the rowing team, and I am going to be playing wheelchair basketball here on the second-last day of the event. Some memorable moments so far. During the cycling finals I had what we dub as an Invictus Moment. And that moment was working really hard to get through the finals and survive it, because it was a gruelling 30-minute race and it turned out that myself, fellow Canadian Teammate Mark Vokey, the Danish member, and a member from the Australian team; we crossed the finish line together arm-in-arm. That was a pretty special moment for me. I immediately signed up because... like, the reason why, when I sat there and thought about it, I needed to better the life for my children and my family. You know, I didn’t like the person that I was becoming and I didn’t like the father that I was becoming and I was just an irritable individual who was really going... getting into some dark places. So, through training with some of my teammates that lived in the same area as I did, through the Facebook rooms that we were on, receiving constant messages from my captain reassuring me that my training was doing really good -- that I was inspiring people and that I was on the right track -- you know, I had really seen the effects that training for the Invictus Games was having on me and my family. Another one of my goals was coming here to the games and meeting people from other parts of the world and just saying, ‘man, what are your challenges and what have you done to overcome those challenges and improve your life?’ You know... and some of the things that Jason has taught me from his experience was put yourself out there, get out of your comfort zone, and wake up every morning not letting it define you. You know, wake up every morning saying, ‘I will not let this define who I am. I am going to be the better person.’ You know, so I try to tell my son the same thing. I tell my son, you know, ‘Blake, let’s just be the best Blake that we can be,’ every time he goes to school. SHANNON (Wife): It’s just been amazing watching him grow and experience all these new sports. He’s been really fantastic this week. WO NOWELL: And I head back down to the corner at the bottom of the track where Shannon and Jason were and there was just this amazing flood of emotions that just came over me and as soon as I had seen Shannon, I just hugged her... it felt like forever -- and crying like a big baby. All that training, all the hard work and just all the emotional changes that I’ve gone through over the eight months of training just kind of culminated to that moment where I was on the bike and like this is what it was really... this is what really kind of started that change for me and for Shannon and for the kids. They say that Invictus Games is using the power of sport for recovery and you know, I thought it was just... not that I thought it was a blanket statement, I just didn’t understand it until that moment where I crossed that finish line on the time trial after my first event. You know, it was just an amazing feeling. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him and his wife. He’s believed in me every single step of the way. He’s reminded me every day why I’m here. He’s called me every day to say... to reassure me and refocus and provide me that motivation to refocus and keep me on path and on target. It means the world that he’s... he believed that I was capable of doing this. And, in turn, because he’s here with me, like he’s... it has brought out some of the things in him too that he wished he would have done on his journey. So he’s starting to do those things now. MASTER CORPORAL (RET’D) JASON ISRAEL (Team Canada Member): For my Games last year, even [coach] Jay Feyko said he didn’t know who I was. I kind of stepped aside; I did track and field and then I just... I went on my own. My wife and my kids, they even did stuff and I just went to my room. I wasn’t ready. And then I said to Cory, I said, ‘this is it man, you’ve got to own this, this is like your Olympics. You’ve got to step this up. You’ve got to show everybody that no matter how bent you are, you’re not broken.’ That’s what this man has done. I’m proud of you man. WO NOWELL: Thanks brother. Whatever it takes right? MCPL ISRAEL: Whatever it takes. WO NOWELL: Whatever it takes. Share our Team Canada pride. A message from the Government of Canada.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
October 26, 2018

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