Prince Harry opens Invictus games for military disabled

MIAMI, UNITED STATES- Britain's Prince Harry on Sunday opened the Invictus games for disabled war veterans and awarded the first gold of the 2016 event to France.
Harry, fifth in line to the throne and patron of the Games, welcomed sportsmen, women and supporters to the huge event in Orlando, Florida, being broadcast by sports network ESPN.

US First Lady Michelle Obama, who has actively promoted the event, was on hand for the opening ceremony. Also in attendance were former US president George W. Bush and actor Morgan Freeman.
"Their stories are as amazing as they are unique. They focus on what can be achieved, rather than what can't," Harry said of the ex-servicemen and women, often amputees, who suffer higher than average rates of depression as well as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury.
Singer James Blunt -- a former soldier -- and soprano Laura Wright performed during the ceremony.
The games are aimed raising awareness of the needs of service veterans -- many of whom lost limbs in combat zones -- to adapt to their "new normal" after life-changing experiences.
The prince himself served in the British army and performed tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Archery, track and field athletics and powerlifting were among the events on Sunday's opening day.
Harry also presented the first gold medal of the games to France's Rober Philippe and Rebujent Henri in the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.
The French team triumphed in the test of communication, teamwork and strategic planning skills.
Estonia’s team of Kristjan Roivas and Ergo Mets won the silver and Denmark’s team of Rasmus Moeller and Flemming J.R. Nielsen took bronze.
US President Barack Obama lauded the Invictus games as a way to make sure people see not only the sacrifices wounded warriors have made, "but also the incredible contributions, strength and courage that they continue to display" during a visit by Prince Harry to the White House in October.
The Obamas and Harry traded playful challenges on social media ahead of the games.
Michelle Obama told Harry in a mock-threatening video posted on Twitter that the British better watch out for the US side. Harry's response featured his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, who scoffed at the Americans' confidence.
"Really, please!" she quipped.
The Invictus games, first held in London in September 2014, continue until May 12 in Orlando.

Monday, May 9th 2016

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