Team Canada - Warrior Games 2019 - Biographies
Meet the Team
Meet the athletes competing on Team Canada in the 2019 Warrior Games. Biographies are organized in alphabetical order by last name.
Master Bombardier (retired) Ian Blaedow, served as an Air Defender until his retirement in April 2019. Throughout his career, Ian was an active member of Canadian Armed Forces sports teams, which was always a source of pride and achievement. Unfortunately, while playing hockey, Ian suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury which ended his career. Following his injury, Ian has been working hard to evolve into the “new him”. As a sports fanatic, the Warrior Games have given Ian a sense of purpose and value that he’s not had since his injury. Ian will be participating in track, indoor rowing and sitting volleyball.
Officer Cadet (retired) Mike Briggs, from Cole Harbour Nova Scotia, was inspired by fellow former Officer Cadet (retired) M.J. Batek during the 2017 Invictus Games to adopt a more active lifestyle. Mike never thought that one day he would be able to follow in her footsteps and give his heart to Team Canada, and show that he too is unconquerable. Mike will be participating in swimming, wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball.
After eighteen years of service in the Army, ten years of service in the Navy, and six operational deployments, Petty Officer 1st Class Peggy Brogaard from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia knows every end of the Canadian Armed Forces. A Human Resources Administrator, Peggy was inspired after watching the athletes from Invictus Games 2017 train at her gym, and wondered if she too could compete one day. She dedicated herself to making Team Canada at that moment and hasn’t looked back since. Peggy is competing in powerlifting, sitting volleyball, and wheelchair rugby.
Master Corporal Tim Carriere, from Exeter, Ontario, has served the Canadian Armed Forces with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and as an Aerospace Technician. After suffering an injury and being diagnosed with a Post-Traumatic Stress Injury, Tim continues to put 100% into his recovery and physical rehabilitation. Tim has shown extreme resilience throughout his injury and with the support of his five children, wife and doctor, he has found the fuel to drive himself to “get up and go”. The Warrior Games have been an extremely positive motivator for Tim. He will be participating in archery, shooting, and sitting volleyball. After the Warrior Games, Tim and his wife of 15 years are retiring to Saturna Island on the Salish Sea.
Corporal (retired) Natalie Champagne from Sudbury, Ontario is a 12-year veteran who served as an Aerospace Control Operator before she was medically released from the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2012. In the upcoming Warrior Games, Natalie will be competing in shooting, archery, sitting volleyball, and golf. For inspiration, Natalie focuses on past competitors’ experiences and the profound changes the Warrior Games made in their lives… and knows it will do the same for her. Specifically, she says she’s driven by the expression "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end". To Natalie, the Warrior Games is a way to prove that we can all bend without breaking.
Master Corporal (retired) Lawrence Christensen served the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for 28 years in various capacities, supporting the CAF on several deployments, and eventually finishing his career as an Aviation Technician at 8 Air Maintenance Squadron in Trenton. Lawrence has used a friend’s previous experience with the Invictus Games as a motivator to put himself out there and participate in the Warrior Games. The Games have provided Lawrence with a new sense of purpose and have brought Lawrence’s family closer together as he trains with his son to prepare. He hopes to prove to himself and others that he can accomplish anything and still “be the best he can be”. Lawrence will be participating in swimming, archery and sitting volleyball. Originally from Burlington, Ontario, he currently lives in Trenton, Ontario with his wife Andrea and son Craig.
Leading Seaman Desi Cozier is currently serving as a Radar Technician in Victoria, British Columbia. Desi is looking forward to the opportunity to show what the ill and injured can do – that through dedication, training, and teamwork, they can overcome their limitations! Desi will be competing in shooting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, and field events at the Warrior Games.
Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Dandurand has spent his career with the Military Police. He is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia and currently resides in Stittsville, Ontario. Sport has been an essential part of Dan’s mental wellbeing throughout his life, but following several deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2013, and during his service with the Canadian Forces National Investigation Services, Dan acquired PTSD and Operational Stress Injuries. Sport is what has helped most with working through his challenges. As part of his recovery, Dan has rediscovered his love of competitive sports, both as a competitor and as a leader in Canadian Armed Forces. He hopes to drive himself on to new personal bests in indoor rowing, powerlifting, track, shooting and swimming and hopes to inspire others that “it is never too late to step forward to seek help”.
Medical Technician Master Corporal Pierre Desrosiers has been in the Canadian Army for 32 years and counting. Over the course of his career, he has deployed to the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and to Afghanistan twice. His friends know him for his great sense of humour, however, for Pierre, his career has left him with extensive knee injuries, a substantial shoulder injury, and PTSD. As a result, he will soon be retiring from the Forces. Last year, one of his closest friends, Derek Speirs, competed in the Warrior Games and Pierre felt the overwhelming drive to do the same and surpass his own expectations of himself. Pierre will be competing in swimming, indoor rowing, shooting, and wheelchair rugby – a true all around competitor!
Military Police Master Corporal Debbie Dufour has 31 years of service, five international deployments, and currently serves at the Canadian Forces Service Prison and Detention Barracks. “You can’t do this” is not in her vocabulary. Having only recently heard of the Warrior Games, she recognized instantly what a positive impact it could have for the ill and injured, and wanted to be part of the team and represent Canada. She lives by the motto that “he who fights may lose, but he who never fights has already lost”. Debbie lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta and will be competing in indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, and track.
Currently living in Trenton, Ontario, Warrant Officer Donna Forster has served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 32 years as a Mobile Support Equipment Operator, and has deployed in support of Canadian Operations in the Middle East. Donna has struggled the last few years from major health concerns, having been diagnosed with both multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer, and struggles daily with mental health as a result. Donna is competing in the Warrior Games, partly to honour her daughter, a competitive gymnast, who passed at the age of 14. Donna will hold her strength and determination close at heart as she competes, and knows she will make her ‘Lil Monkey’ proud. She will be competing in archery, athletics, cycling, and sitting volleyball.
Sergeant (retired) Robert Gagnon, an Electronics Technician, worked with various elements in the Canadian Armed Forces before retiring this April after 20 years of service. During the course of his career, Robert suffered multiple, severe, physical injuries. Through the love of sport and family, Robert has been able to adapt and overcome his limitations. He will be competing in shooting, swimming, and cycling at the Warrior Games and aims to prove to himself and his children that hard work can overcome any obstacle, as well as to inspire others to “beat the odds and succeed”. Originally from Hamilton, Robert now lives in Trenton, Ontario with his wife and three children.
Captain (retired) Daniel Germain served with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force for 20 years. As a marine engineering technician, he sailed on HMCS Montreal and HMCS Charlottetown from 1996 to 2002, was a naval boarding party member and ship’s diver, and completed a 6-month tour as part of NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic. In 2002, he took his commission, earned an electro-mechanics engineering degree, and was posted to the RCAF, serving as a Weapons System Manager and aircraft production officer. Daniel currently lives inSte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier near Quebec City with his 2 children Olivier and Camille. He sees the Warrior Games as an “opportunity to prove that I can still contribute to something far greater than myself”. Daniel will be competing in golf, target shooting, and archery and hopes to inspire others to start their healing process and Soldier On.
Patrick Wayne Gordon
A former member of the Lord Strathconas, Sergeant (retired) Patrick Wayne Gordon spent a long career as an Armoured crewman, serving in Afghanistan in 2006, 2008, and 2010, striking an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in 2008. From Saint John, New Brunswick, the Warrior Games have given Patrick the chance to compete “on a level I never thought possible, to help bring awareness to life after service and service related injuries”. Patrick will be competing in track and field at the upcoming Games.
Master Corporal (retired) Stephane Jobin, a former Combat Engineer out of Valcartier, Quebec served in Afghanistan in 2007-08. With his loving partner and family cheering him on in everything he does, the Warrior Games will provide Stephane with an opportunity to serve again with his brothers-in-arms and to help put the spotlight on those who suffer silently with mental health injuries. Stephane will be competing in athletics, shooting, and wheelchair rugby.
Sergeant (retired) Marion Kelly had a long and proud career as a supply technician – everyone in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) knows that nothing would work and no one would eat without them. With deployments to the Golan Heights, and as part of the European supply chain for Operation Desert Storm, Marion has struggled with physical and mental health since her release from the CAF. Marion joined the military so should could proudly wear the Canadian flag, with a goal of one day competing in the Olympics. Due to injury that was not possible, but now, many years later, she will be a part of Team Canada. When she watched the Invictus Games in 2017, it inspired her to realize that she too could “get up and get out of the house, and accomplish something amazing”. Marion will be competing in swimming, rowing, and sitting volleyball. She currently resides in St. Catherines, Ontario.
Currently serving as an Infanteer, Corporal Nick Kerr from Edmonton, Alberta has had many domestic and international deployments in his long career as both a Regular and Reserve Force member. His inspiration to compete in the Warrior Games comes from a desire to honour the loss of his brothers in arms who did not return home. Nick has been training hard for the past two years with this goal in mind, and will be competing in swimming, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, and golf.
Master Seaman Laura Livesey has served the Royal Canadian Navy for 12 years, following in her father’s footsteps as a Human Resources Administrator, and has served on both domestic and international operations. She currently resides in Canada’s north in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, but will soon move to CFB Edmonton. She has long used sports as an important part of her life, however has had to seriously scale back her participation since developing a debilitating spinal injury, as well as a serious ankle injury. The Warrior Games are providing her with an opportunity to be part of a team again, something which she thought was impossible. Her aim is to be the best version of herself as she competes in swimming, shooting, and wheelchair basketball.
Master Corporal (retired) Jim Lowther, a former Logistics Technician from Springhill, Nova Scotia is looking forward to the opportunity to compete in sport with like-minded soldiers and Veterans who have suffered injuries while in service to their country. When he received notice that he had been selected to be a part of Team Canada, he was both terrified and thrilled at the same time. He knows that he will have to leave his comfort zone in order to accomplish his personal best in shooting, swimming, and sitting volleyball at the upcoming Warrior Games.
A proud Newfoundlander, Capt (retired) Derek McDonald served as an infantryman with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment. While on patrol, Derek’s team was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and he was repatriated home for recovery. After a long road, Derek found that sport and fitness were a critical motivator and, in 2016, Derek achieved a long held personal goal of cycling around Newfoundland. For Derek, participating in the Warrior Games will allow him to pursue new personal goals and strengthen his support network. Derek will compete in indoor rowing and sitting volleyball.
A currently serving artilleryman, Master Bombardier Mark Makepeace never forgets his friends and family in Kingston, Nova Scotia and, be it on deployment to Afghanistan, a posting to Gagetown, New Brunswick, or competing in the Warrior Games, he always keeps them close to his heart. Always giving back to his community, Mark wants to ensure his son has the opportunity to learn from the same life lessons he has. Mark had a devastating setback in 2012, when he suffered a debilitating head injury that almost forced his retirement and was told he would never be able to play sports again. After a long recovery, he is inspired by the words of his son, “Dad, if you don’t get back in the batter’s box, how are you going to swing for the fences?” Mark will be competing in cycling, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby.
Major Cory Moore is a Legal Officer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. The highlight of his career (so far) in the Canadian Armed Forces has been helping to develop the Legal Branch of the Afghan National Army, which saw the introduction of its’ first female members thanks to his efforts. Cory is competing in shooting, wheelchair tennis and sitting volleyball, but knows that it doesn’t matter if he places on the podium or not. He will be taking part in the Warrior Games to show Canadians everywhere that to ‘Soldier On’ is more than a slogan, “it’s a testament to inner strength and fortitude to compete and to say that we are still warriors. Fiat Justitia, and Go Canada Go!”
Captain (retired) Kristina Moreau’s career included serving in a number of different occupations, as well as a deployment to Bosnia, before retiring as a medical officer with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. She suffered multiple injuries over her long career, however has never accepted defeat, taking personal inspiration from her father, Warrant Officer (retired) Marcel Moreau, who competed in the 2017 Invictus Games, as well as her children. For Kristina, the Warrior Games are an opportunity to share an amazing experience with other ill or injured service members, to reconnect with fellow soldiers, and to, once again, be part of a team with a common goal. She is committed to learning and developing new abilities instead of being defined by the challenges she faces. Kristina currently lives in Courtice, Ontario and will be competing in shooting, indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball and golf.
Joining the Forces after completing high school, Sonar Operator and Petty Officer Second Class Lisa Nilsson has served on two international deployments and continues to wear the uniform today. Over the course of her career, she has suffered serious physical and non-visible injuries, but has refused to let that stop her. To Lisa, participating in the Warrior Games provides an opportunity for continued growth and to connect with other veterans. She also hopes that sport will help her find a balance between mental and physical health. Lisa will be participating in wheelchair basketball, powerlifting and shooting and looks forward to inspiring others to realize that “being broken is not the end but a new beginning”. Lisa and her family currently live in Sooke, British Columbia.
Infantry officer Major Dave Nixon’s career has taken him many places, however his heart will always be with the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, with whom he deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina and Afghanistan. While he currently lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, he will say, if asked, that his real home is Amherst, Nova Scotia and knows that nothing would be possible without the love and support of his wife, Marcie, and daughters Kaylee and Talia. He has been using competitive sport to help him heal physically and mentally, and hopes to use his experience at the Warrior Games to inspire others get back out there and participate in a healthy, active lifestyle. He will be competing in cycling.
Living in Collingwood, Ontario, Master Warrant Officer John O’Neill, an infantryman, has served internationally as a part of the Royal Canadian Regiment in Bosnia, Kosovo, Africa, and Afghanistan. With a mental health injury affecting his memory and speech, John will be transitioning to civilian life over the next year. Thanks to the Warrior Games, John has been inspired to challenge himself again, build his self-confidence back up, and show that he is still a warrior. With his wife Tracy as his inspiration, John will be competing in athletics, shooting, and sitting volleyball.
Bradley Richard Peters
Medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2016, Master Bombardier (retired) Bradley Richard Peters spent most of his career, including a deployment to Afghanistan, as an Air Defender and still lives by the motto “UBIQUE”. He currently calls Waasis, New Brunswick home and wants his wife and kids to know that he will never quit, that he is proud of them, and that without them he wouldn’t be the man he is today. The games for Brad are about self-respect and the opportunity to showcase both personal and team accomplishments. He will be competing in powerlifting, athletics and wheelchair rugby.
Warrant Officer Damien Pittman grew up in St. Paul’s, Newfoundland, but currently resides in Kingston, Ontario. While currently still serving in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Combat Engineer, Damien is set to be medically released in July of 2019 due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has spent the majority of his 19-year career with 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa, Ontario and has deployed overseas three times, twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. He has positively represented Canada wherever he has travelled and aims to do so again at the Warrior Games. Most importantly, “the Warrior Games will allow me to be a role model for my children, to show them to never quit, and to always strive to succeed.” Damien will be competing in archery and powerlifting during the Games.
Corporal (retired) Kyle Ricketts served as an Armoured soldier with the Royal Canadian Dragoons from 2005 to 2015. He was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, where he lived until he enlisted in the Army, subsequently spending time on course in Saint Jean, Quebec and Gagetown, New Brunswick before being posted to Petawawa, Ontario. He was injured while deployed in Afghanistan in March of 2009. In 2016, Kyle and his family moved back to Nova Scotia and currently live in Bridgetown in the Annapolis Valley. Kyle has participated in several events through Soldier On over the past few years and is thrilled to be part of Team Canada for the 2019 Warrior Games. It is an opportunity for him to show his three children that through perseverance and positivity, you can overcome any challenge that life presents. Kyle will be participating in archery, shooting, and wheelchair basketball and rugby.
Ernest “Daryl” Sagar
Born in Invermere, British Columbia, Sergeant (retired) Ernest “Daryl” Sagar joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1988 as a gunner in the artillery, but spent most of his 24 years with the Canadian Army as a medic. Over the course of his career, Daryl deployed to Bosnia in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2008. He was diagnosed with PTSD upon his return from Afghanistan and has also dealt with several back injuries requiring multiple surgeries. Since his release in 2011, he has remained in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Annette. Daryl sees the Warrior Games “as a safe place where I can be part of a team of people that have similar backgrounds and common struggles”. His goal is to become “more physically and socially active through sports and focus on a positive, healthier and happier journey of recovery for the rest of my life”. Daryl will be participating in archery, shooting, and wheelchair basketball.
Lieutenant (Navy) Christina Seed is a Naval Warfare Officer who sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury from a fall while on exercise in 2016. As a result of the injury, one of the canals in her inner ear no longer functions, resulting in dizziness, vertigo, and balance issues. Post-surgery recovery has been a long process, but Christina has been fortunate to have access to a number of rehabilitation resources. Her medical team has now encouraged her to take her recovery in a new direction – away from rehabilitation and towards competitive strength-based training for the Warrior Games. Christina will be competing in archery, powerlifting, and field events at the upcoming Games and is excited to be joining with other members of Team Canada “on the journey from injury to recovery”.
Captain (retired) Jennifer Sizer was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario and currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She served in the Canadian Armed Forces for over 14 years, first as an infanteer with the Second Battalion, The Irish Regiment of Canada, deploying to Bosnia in 2003. She would later go on to become a logistics officer. In 2015, Jennifer released from the Canadian Armed Forces due to both physical and mental injuries, and felt “a significant loss of identity”. Jennifer believes that competing in the Warrior Games, representing Canada, and rejoining other military members in the pursuit of common objectives “is an incredible opportunity to forge new bonds and push to higher limits”. She will be competing in the Ultimate Warrior category, taking part in multiple sports including swimming, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, archery, shooting, and field events.
Sergeant (retired) Peter Sova joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1998, serving as an Air Defender with the Royal Canadian Artillery for 19 and a half years. During the course of his career he deployed twice to Afghanistan and also served onboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina in the Middle East. Peter currently resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick and is the proud father of daughter Abigail Susanne. He is “honoured to be a part of Team Canada for this year’s Warrior Games”, seeing the Games themselves as “an inspiring platform in which the power of sport and competition brings out the very best in people from very different backgrounds and cultures”. He is eagerly anticipating powerlifting, track, and archery competition and exemplifying “that which can never be taken from me regardless of injury… the spirit and will to move forward!”
Frieda Van Putten
Master Corporal (retired) Frieda Van Putten, originally from London, Ontario and now residing in Victoria, British Columbia, is an imagery technician who has served her country on multiple tours including Afghanistan, as well as deploying with the Royal Canadian Navy. The Warrior Games “will be a time to reflect on the time I served in the military, the amazing people I had the honor to work with, as well as a time to reconnect with fellow Veterans and forge new friendships through competition”. She is inspired by her daughter Adriana, whose resiliency and strong will “have blessed me with the need to Soldier On despite the obstacles we both have faced. I want to show her that anything is possible when you have the will and drive.” Frieda will be competing in swimming, cycling, and field events, and aims to represent Canada proudly.
Master Corporal (retired) Trevor Vautour was born in Moncton, New Brunswick and enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2004 as a Regular Force member. He spent more than 14 years in the CAF, 10 of those with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), serving Canada on multiple tours to Afghanistan, as well as on deployment to Africa. The Warrior Games provide “an opportunity to give back to other injured serving members and Veterans, as well as a chance to learn from their achievements and struggles”. Trevor looks forward to “the upcoming challenge, representing my country again, and regaining the comradery he had while serving”. He will be competing in indoor rowing, track, and wheelchair basketball and rugby.
Master Corporal Steven Walpole, who lives in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, has been part of the Canadian Armed Forces for 17 years and currently serves as a regular force Aviation Mechanic. He attended the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto and was inspired by what he saw. In turn, he wants to be an inspiration to his own children and will be participating in wheelchair tennis and cycling at the upcoming Warrior Games.
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