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19 Wing Comox veterans bound for Invictus Games

Multi-sport event held this year in Holland
Rock Ferland

Four people who worked and served at 19 Wing Comox will compete at the Invictus Games, April 16-23 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Founded by Prince Harry in 2014, the Games are an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. About 500 people from 19 countries are expected to compete in 10 adaptive sports.

“We are so excited and looking forward to wearing a Team Canada uniform again and competing against other international military veteran competitors,” said Nick Holyome, who was a Maritime Surface/Subsurface (MARS) officer early in his career. The Comox resident will compete in cycling, indoor rowing and sitting volleyball.

Holyome draws inspiration from his wife and two children who have helped and supported him as he has made the challenging transition to civilian life.

“Retiring in 2019 from the military was a major life change for me,” he said. “I took off my uniform, ceased being a part of the defence of Canada, and changed my mission to focus on my family and my health.”

Sport and recreation activities have been an integral part of his transition to life as a civilian. Holyome also credits the Soldier On and True Patriot Love programs that support veterans.

Joining him at the Games are Rock Ferland of Comox, who competes in cycling, track and field, and wheelchair basketball; Chris Zizek of Campbell River, who will be rowing, swimming and competing in seated volleyball; and Emilie Poulin of Courtenay, who competes in rowing, powerlifting and sitting volleyball.

“The pandemic may have delayed us two years, but I am now so thrilled to represent Canada again,” Holyome said.

The athletes head to Ottawa on Saturday, April 9 for a staging camp before flying to The Hague.

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Nick Holyome
Emilie Poulin
Chris Zizek