North Bay’s Dave Innes says he is surprised to learn of his selection to Canada’s Invictus Games team, but that it is an honour and a welcome surprise.
He is a driven man and when he adds that he truly feels that his accident has changed his life in a positive way and has given him a new outlook, all it takes is a glance at Innes’ photos of him powerlifting huge stacks of weights to understand what he means.
Innes, a Canadian Forces veteran who was injured in a training accident in 1990 that has left him wheelchair-bound and paralyzed from the mid-section down, is no stranger to adversity. Long interested in fitness, Innes is ramping up his training regimen and is looking forward to the Invictus Games that will be held in Australia this fall, as well as the training camp that precedes the Games.
He is not even sure which event he is training for. He says once the Canadian team is formed, events are allotted to the athletes in order to put together the strongest possible team. Innes says his choices include powerlifting, wheelchair rugby, and rowing.
Innes took part in a ceremony for the Toronto Invictus Games at 22 Wing/CFB North Bay last fall, serving as the flag-bearer for the event. It was around this time that Innes says the notion to compete as an athlete began to set in.
He says that since so much time has gone by since his accident, a big part of being accepted to compete has to do with his ability to serve as a mentor to other competitors who have only recently been injured, and are facing for the first time many of the struggles that Innes has overcome.