Prince Harry hails ‘bravery’ of Ukraine team at Invictus Games opener – Reuters News in France and abroad

On Saturday, Britain’s Prince Harry praised the courage of the Ukrainian team at an opening ceremony for the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, where the Ukrainian competitors also received a standing ovation.


“Your bravery and your choice to come and be here tonight cannot be overstated,” the Duke of Sussex told the audience at the ceremony in the Dutch city of The Hague.

“Glory to Ukraine,” added his wife Meghan in Ukrainian, addressing the team who had traveled to the games despite Moscow’s February 24 invasion of their country.

Harry said the team told him they wanted to attend “despite all odds…not just to show your strength, but to speak your truth. The truth about what is happening in your country.

“You know we are on your side. The world is united with you and yet you deserve more. »

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in the Netherlands on Friday, making their first joint public appearance in Europe since leaving royal life and moving to North America more than two years ago.

A day earlier, they had paid a secret visit to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle, where they were also said to have met his father, Prince Charles, following tensions caused by their interview with chat queen Oprah Winfrey in which they accused an unnamed member of the royal family of racism.

– ‘We are all behind you’ –

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at the ceremony that some members of the Ukrainian team could not be present at the games because they were “fighting on the front line”.

“Of course we are thinking of those Ukrainians in the Invictus community who paid the ultimate price for their fights during the war… we are all behind you,” he said.

According to the Ukrainian team, at least four members of the Invictus community have died in fighting in Ukraine since 2014.

Harry, who served in the British Army in Afghanistan, founded the Invictus Games for disabled veterans.

More than 500 participants from 20 countries are taking part in the Invictus Games, which have been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Just before the prince’s arrival on Friday, the Ukrainian team made their own arrival to great applause.

The 19-person team was in the Netherlands to participate but said they regretted the absence of one participant, stuck in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

The paramedic, Yuliia Paievska, known as Taira, is “in mortal danger now”, a spokeswoman for the team told AFP.

“She is the only female on the team and was expected to compete in archery and swimming,” the team said in a statement.

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Prince Harry hails ‘bravery’ of Ukraine team at Invictus Games opener – Reuters News in France and abroad