With the Invictus Games halfway through in the Netherlands on Tuesday, Prince Harry has been busy encouraging – and tackling – competitors.
After watching the wheelchair rugby teams from the United Kingdom and the United States compete (and joined both countries for supportive talks), the Duke of Sussex went on to surprise athletes at a pop-up table tennis event on the grounds of The Hague’s Zuiderpark, where the games take place.
Although table tennis is not on the official event list this year, the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 in Germany has included the competitive sport in its program. To mark the recording, Harry agreed to team up with the silver medalist of the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, Thomas Schmidberger, for a round of the doubles.
“There’s no way I can keep up with you!” Harry laughed as she took on Paralympic gold medalist Valentin Baus and two-time competitor Sandra Mikolaschek. “This is harder than it looks!”
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Later in the evening, Harry joined Team Australia supporters to cheer on the swim finalists. He was joined by former British Army officer and close friend David Wiseman, who is also the Director of Scholarships and Programs at the Invictus Games Foundation.
“When Prince Harry is around veterans, when he’s around other service personnel, he really comes alive, and it’s all because of his own background: 10 years of service, two missions in Afghanistan. He’s one of us,” Wiseman told a chat on Monday.
April 19 was also a day when Team Ukraine added more medals to their growing collection. Dmytro Afanasyev, Vasyl Stuzhenko and Serhiy Kalytiuk won silver in archery; Anna-Sofia Puzanova won bronze in women’s archery; and Oleksiy Bobchynets also won a bronze medal in the 1,500-meter dash.
Earlier this week, the Duchess of Sussex showed her support for Ukraine at a family event at the British Embassy tent in front of the Royal British Legion on the grounds of the Invictus Games. Sitting with children of British competitors, the Duchess painted the Ukrainian flag with the word peace written over it.
British Army veteran James Stride, who read to the children from the book Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy† later shared that Meghan “was chatty. … She said she wanted to be with kids because she missed her own kids.”
New photos released today by the couple’s Archewell team show Meghan playing with two-year-old Harrison, whose mother, Sherry McBain, competes for Team UK in archery and sitting volleyball.
†[Meghan] was like ‘Harrison, that’s Archie’s middle name’, and [my wife] Mandy was like, ‘Yeah, I know,'” McBain later revealed to the Press Association. “They were just talking because Harry and Meghan couldn’t choose between Archie and Harrison for the first name.”
Tomorrow the Invictus Games will continue with Harry attending a number of sporting events throughout the day, including indoor rowing and more wheelchair rugby.
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