Invictus Games

Prince Harry hails Invictus Games athletes as 'role models' at Dusseldorf event

Prince Harry has described the men and women of the Armed Forces as his personal "role models" during an Invictus Games event.

The event at the Merkur Spiel-Arena marks one year until the Dusseldorf 2023 games, with Prince Harry stating the Games give personnel "a place to be truly seen and appreciated".

"For those who risked their lives serving their country and protecting us, for those who experienced physical and mental trauma due to that service, and for the families who took on the unseen sacrifice of this lifestyle each and every day," he said.

"The men and women who represent our service community were prepared for unimaginable mental and physical stress."

He went on: "They are my role models. Nothing can, or has, or will, stop them. 

"They inspire their communities and they inspire the world.

Watch: The Forces Sports Show – Invictus Games special.

"Thank you for your commitment to a purpose greater than yourselves," he added.

Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured and sick military personnel and veterans across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

At the event in Dusseldorf, he said he has "long believed that the service community deserves to be cheered as much as the most popular professional football teams".

"That's what they get with the Invictus Games," he said. "Our philosophy is about filling stadiums and arenas with spectacular fanfare, families, and, of course, friends.

"It's about getting every corner of the world to tune in and pay attention.

"I believe that because service often exists in the shadows, we take for granted how many service members are out there every day – putting their lives on the line for us.

"So I know, in my heart, that we should give them centre stage whenever we can."

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