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Sun 22nd October, 2017
 

Invictus Games highlights: Harry handing out medals & joined by Obama

The Invictus Games have been taking place this week in Toronto, with Prince Harry taking centre stage, after the brave competitors of course.

The Invictus Games is a specialist sporting competition for injured former servicemen and women from around the world representing their nations, including ‘Team Unconquered’ which includes competitors from Ukraine, Romania, Denmark and the USA. This year that games started on 23 September and will end on 30 September.

Highlights include actor Mike Myers praising the work of the British armed forces where his parents met, Harry being taken on a drive by German motorsports competitors Dennis Siesing, and the Princeand unwillingly sharing his popcorn with the daughter of the Team UK captain.

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The UK dominated the wheelchair tennis competition, and British cyclists Karl Allen-Dobson and Wayne Harrod winning gold and silver by a country mile. There aren’t any medal tables at Invictus, however; the winning is a by-product of the positives brought by sport to those who have injuries.

Of course, Prince Harry has handed out his fair share of medals at the games as the ‘founding father’ of Invictus. The former army captain handed two silver medals to former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod, a triple amputee, who worked for over a decade to get fit enough to compete in the indoor rowing, indoor cycling and swimming competitions.

When he handed out the wheelchair rugby medals, a bald gold medalist from the Danish team got a kiss on the head from the Prince!

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Harry was moved to tears when Australian power lifter Michaela Gilewicz talked about her severe panic attacks before the opening ceremony. She said: “I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet Prince Harry. I was waiting in the area for powerlifting … and he came up and tapped me on the shoulder, shook my hand and said: ‘I’ve got something to tell you.’

“I’m like, oh no, it’s the same story everyone’s been telling me. He saw me tearing up and he said: ‘I had to look away because we were live to air on the BBC and you nearly set me off.’

“I was like, oh my God, this is the best moment of my life.”

The Invictus Games brings out the competitive sides of all competitors, but Canadian para-athlete Mike Trauner, said that “People aren’t there at the games to earn medals; people are there to overcome their own problems in life.”

Even former President, Barack Obama, and his VP, Joe Biden, turned out to see the wheelchair basketball game, USA vs France.

Prince Harry and former US President Barack Obama watch the wheelchair basketball as they talk to fans on day seven of the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

Throughout the games, the British Royal has been welcomed like a rockstar wherever he has been, including a couple of quick chats with the locals.

Harry has been asked about his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, who has been to some of the games, including the opening ceremony and a wheelchair tennis game with her Prince. She reportedly ‘loves the games’, Harry told one competitor who asked after the actress.

The closing ceremony on 30th September will feature performances from Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson.

Have you been watching the Invictus Games? What was your favourite part?

Latest comment
  • The amazing stories they make me cry, but also as a chronically ill wheelchair user i find it very encouraging 😍

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