“In our house, Winston Churchill was a big hero and … never, never, never [gave] in,” Myers told Global News during a one-on-one interview.
“The spirit of the Invictus Games is about not giving in. And not just coping, but thriving and that’s what I love about it.”
Myers, who is an official Invictus Games ambassador, spoke before the official Games opening Saturday morning, where he made a heart-wrenching speech about his family’s military service.
While talking about the week-long event, Myers said team work and the shared support for athletes makes the Invictus Games stand apart from other sporting events.
“That kind of team work, and that kind of esprit de corps, can get you through some dark moments and it can also inspire you on to even greater moments,” he said.
“No matter what country the competitor is from, you know that there’s a personal story of growth involved. I think everybody’s cheering everybody, which is another lovely thing that the world could use a little bit more of. It puts a lot of one’s own problems into some wonderful perspective.”
Prince Harry established the Invictus Games in 2014 for sick and wounded service members from around the globe. More than 550 individuals from 17 countries are expected to participate in 12 sports during the coming week, ranging from cycling to wheelchair tennis to sitting volleyball.
When it was revealed 2017 Invictus Games would be held in Toronto, Myers said the decision was memorable for him.
“That was very moving and I actually… in my life when I look back on some of the more meaningful experiences I’ve ever had, being there that night at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C., goes amongst the most meaningful,” he said, while encouraging residents to attend games events.
Myers said his mother served with the Royal Air Force and his father served with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War, service he said that gives him a special appreciation.
“Those that serve our country deserve our utmost respect and all the competitors … [they] have my deepest respect, admiration and gratitude and from the bottom of my heart, I do thank you,” he said during a press conference Saturday while tearing up.
“What I do for a living is very silly and without brave people who keep us safe, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.”
Meanwhile, Myers told Global News he’ll remember a special encounter with a few event volunteers.
“Three of whom were women who were serving, or just had served, in the Royal Air Force. I thought that was a very, very good and meaningful omen,” Myers said while showing a pin they gave him.
“It’s the Royal Air Force logo with the Canadian flag, a U.S. flag and a British flag. I am an American citizen by choice, British by heritage and Canadian by divine intervention, so it’s a very, very fitting and wonderful.”
With files from The Canadian Press