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Goggle Tans & Giant Grins Grace Whistler at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival 


Whistler does not disappoint when it comes to stunning views and friendly people.  

Our community team was grateful to help liven up the space at the Village Expo in Mountain Square during Whistler’s World Ski & Snowboard Festival from April 12-14, 2024.  

Known to locals as WSSF, the festival had Whistler buzzing with spring energy both on and off the slopes. The festival is billed as the ultimate après to the winter season, featuring snow sports, music, arts, and culture. Skiers and snowboarders from around the globe were there to enjoy the Saudan Couloir Ski Race, the Rail Jam and Slush Cup along with the O2E Whistler Cup, North America’s largest and most important ski race for athletes aged 11 to 16 years.  

Under sunny skies and the jaw-dropping backdrop of Blackcomb Mountain, we engaged in lots of meaningful conversations with people from Chile, Korea, Romania, Mexico, France, Argentina, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and more. We were able to share the spirit of Invictus and drive awareness that next year’s Games are coming to Vancouver and Whistler, not just with international visitors, but also with many visitors from the Lower Mainland and lots of Whistler locals.  

Many Veterans and service members stopped by our booth, expressing their enthusiasm that the Invictus Games are coming to Canada again. Several enthusiastically thanked us for what we are doing for the military, and we humbly let them know they are the ones who deserve our thanks.  

While a neighbouring booth, hosted by Monster Energy, offered mullet cuts, we awarded Invictus cowbells for trivia answers, and had folks of all ages try out Wheelchair Curling. The competitive spirit was alive and well with siblings facing off, parents versus kids and couples competing against each other. Fortunately, none of the matchups ended in tears! There were lots of smiles, laughter, and some interesting learnings about trying curling with the adaptation of a wheelchair and a delivery stick.  

Thanks to friends at Ziptrek Ecotours, we were able to raffle off a zipline experience for two. Congratulations to Victor M. whose name was selected through our online prize wheel!  

Next February, the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 will bring together wounded, injured and sick military service members and Veterans from around the world on a courageous journey of recovery through the healing power of sport. Their inspiration? I AM Unconquered. I AM Invictus. We have been asking people on their journey, what is their I AM? We saw some incredible and powerful words shared on the I AM message board and received some heartwarming and encouraging messages for our competitors.  

Emma M. has been volunteering both in the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 office and at community events. Her favourite conversation of the weekend was with a mother with two young daughters who talked about how much she loved the I AM message board, highlighting resilience and her determination to promote the values of Invictus within her own family.  

“I really enjoy meeting people from other countries,” said Emma. “It gives a wonderful flavour for what we can expect from the Games.”  

It seemed very fitting that Sunday, April 14 marked the start of National Volunteer Week. Volunteers are critical to our efforts in the community, and we couldn’t be out there without these dedicated and enthusiastic souls gifting us their time. Our gratitude for them runs deep, and there is also something about the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 that draws them in. Kelly C. has done a lot of volunteering, including during the 2010 Winter Olympics. She said the final day of this festival was her favourite day of volunteering ever! Another volunteer, Rick, was moved by a conversation with the father of a 9-year-old who uses a wheelchair and is thriving through adaptive sport. There were so many stories that fully embodied the spirit of Invictus. 

We can’t wait for our competitors and their family and friends to experience the magic of Whistler in February 2025 – goggle tans and all!  

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