NZDF team impresses at 2017 Invictus Games

updated By Tepara Koti

The 2017 New Zealand Defence Force Invictus Team is turning heads at the international games, both on and off the field.

The Invictus Games is known as the only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill active duty and veteran service members.  The games kicked off on Saturday (local time) with a colourful welcoming ceremony for 17 participating countries from across the world.

This year's medal tally for Team NZDF is 10 so far, last year the team finished the competition with nine medals.


Vanessa Bawden-Pere - Women’s Midweight Powerlifting

Maj Craig Wilson - Men’s IR3 4min Indoor Row

Maj Craig Wilson - Men’s IR3 1min Indoor Row


PO Aaron Gibbs & Glenn Barnes - Open Doubles Wheelchair Tennis

Allister Baker - Men’s IR5 1min Indoor Row

LT Dan Crawford - Men’s IR6 4min Indoor Row

Glenn Barnes - Men’s IR2 1min Indoor Row


LT Dan Crawford - Men’s IT7 400m

LT Dan Crawford - Men’s IT7 1500m

LT Dan Crawford - Men’s IR6 1min Indoor Row

But it's not only their performance on the field that has been impressing the crowds.

Willie Apiata VC made news headlines earlier this week when he burst out in haka for the first 2017 NZDF medalist, LT Dan Crawford who won bronze in the 1500m.

LT Crawford ended up with a double bronze on the track - Men’s IT7 400m and the Men’s IT7 1500m, which sparked the following haka from Apiata VC and co.

Another rousing haka was performed by the NZDF Invictus Wheelchair Rugby team before their match against Canada, which seemed to resonate with the crowd as well.

Today Willie Apiata VC was presented with an I AM KIWI ring from team captain Jason Pore. 

Kiwi Gold Medalist Vanessa Bawden-Pere presented an I AM KIWI ring yesterday to His Royal Highness Prince Harry, who is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation.  The rings were especially made by the Auckland RSA, and presented to each team member before they departed New Zealand for Toronto.

The Invictus Games officially end on September 30 (local time).  For more information and updates, you can follow the team via their facebook page, twitter or watch the Invictus Livestream.

[Images & video credit: NZDF Invictus Team]