As a royal watcher, it gives me great pleasure to see the Invictus Games enjoy so much success in its second year.
It was just three years ago when Prince Harry visited the Warrior Games in Colorado, which served as his inspiration for an international show of strength, bravery and sportsmanship.
The Invictus Games have given the participants a sense of pride and confidence in themselves after suffering horrific injuries while serving their countries.
On May 11th, Harry present Sergeant Elizabeth Marks with a gold medal for winning the 100-meter freestyle,
Marks, handed it back to Harry, asking him to give it Papworth Hospital in England in thanks for saving her life in 2014.
Prior to the first Invictus Games in September of that year, Marks developed a lung condition that forced doctors to put her in a medically induced coma.
“I landed in London and became very ill very rapidly, I was in hospital in London and went into respiratory distress syndrome, they shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] life support and that ultimately saved my life,” Marks told reporters at the games on Wednesday.
“So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth.
“They absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me.”
The 25-year-old Arizona native has been in the military since she was 17, and suffered a hip injury in 2010 that left her with no feeling in her left leg.
Fortunately, Marks is still serves.
It’s been fantastic to watch both the athletes and Harry immerse themselves 100% in the games, and I can’t wait for next year when the cinnamon prince (Vanity Fair’s nickname, not mine) takes the runaway hit to Toronto.
Below is a brief video from Kensington Palace beautifully capturing the sprit of the games. I encourage to watch it and dare you not to get a bit choked up.
As we count down to the closing ceremony let’s take a moment to reflect on what these games have all been about…https://t.co/ry4KFVTiAK
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 12, 2016
The Closing Ceremonies will take place tonight in Walt Disney World, with performances by Rascal Flatts, Flo Rida, Rachel Platten, Phillip Phillips, Jordan Smith and Vetted.
“The Closing Ceremony will be an inspiring event that honors the Invictus spirit and recognizes our competitors,” Ken Fisher, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Invictus Games Orlando 2016, said in a statement last month.
“Stacked with incredible musical performances by internationally-renowned singers and songwriters, heartening stories of courage and triumph from servicemen and women, the ceremony will truly be the event of a lifetime.”
What was your favorite moment from this year’s Invictus Games?