IN­VIC­TUS GEN­ER­A­TION SHOW TRUE MEAN­ING OF RE­SILIENCE, SAYS HARRY

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - ALEXAN­DER BRITTON Press As­so­ci­a­tion news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

THE Duke of Sus­sex said the ded­i­ca­tion of those who serve in “com­plex and dan­ger­ous” con­flicts goes un­recog­nised “far too of­ten”, as he opened the In­vic­tus Games in Syd­ney.

Harry, who did two tours of duty in Afghanistan dur­ing his 10-year Army ca­reer, hailed what he called the In­vic­tus Gen­er­a­tion, who have shown “the true mean­ing of re­silience”.

The fourth In­vic­tus Games was launched on the fore­court of Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge on Satur­day night – although the cer­e­mony was de­layed by an hour af­ter an elec­tri­cal storm in the early evening.

The duke thanked Aus­tralia for the wel­come he and his preg­nant wife Meghan had re­ceived in the coun­try, as they take part in a 16-day tour which will also take in New Zea­land, Fiji and Tonga.

He said: “I have been so proud to be able to in­tro­duce my wife to you and we have been so happy to be able to cel­e­brate the per­sonal joy of our new­est ad­di­tion with you all.”

Ath­letes from 18 na­tions will take part in 13 sports in the Aus­tralian city over the next week as part of the Games for in­jured ser­vice per­son­nel.

Harry said: “if we’re be­ing hon­est, we know that, in many na­tions, the place of our men and women in uni­form be­came too of­ten un­der­val­ued in the decades af­ter the Sec­ond World War. “But that has changed. “A new gen­er­a­tion – the In­vic­tus Gen­er­a­tion – is defin­ing what it means to serve. And we are all tak­ing no­tice.

“The In­vic­tus Gen­er­a­tion has cho­sen to serve their coun­tries in con­flicts that are com­plex and dan­ger­ous and far too of­ten this ded­i­ca­tion goes un­recog­nised.

“They have re­minded us all what self­less duty re­ally looks like.”

Harry added: “With the help of med­i­cal science, the In­vic­tus Gen­er­a­tion has not only sur­vived in­juries that in past con­flicts would have been fa­tal, but has also cho­sen to fight back from the dark­est of places to be here tonight.

“They have shown us the true mean­ing of re­silience.

“When they have been open about their hid­den emo­tional and men­tal wounds, the In­vic­tus Gen- er­a­tion has shown us that, in to­day’s world, be­ing tough means be­ing hon­est about how we feel – both in­side and out.

“When they have taken to the tracks, fields and pools in Lon­don, Or­lando, and Toronto, the In­vic­tus Gen­er­a­tion has ex­em­pli­fied sports­man­ship, brav­ery and world class ath­leti­cism.

“They have shown us all that the most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges can be over­come.”

The open­ing cer­e­mony, which in­cluded a pa­rade of na­tions, per­for­mances from the Aus­tralian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir and Birds Of Tokyo, took place 45 years to the day since Harry’s grand­mother, the Queen, opened the Syd­ney Opera House.

Meghan was wear­ing a Stella McCart­ney dress and coat by X-Files ac­tress Gil­lian An­der­son for Winser Lon­don.

Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son spoke of the dif­fer­ent def­i­ni­tions of “win­ning” at the Games.

He said: “Those who are al­ready here know vic­tory in the tough­est arena there is.

“In the iso­la­tion and dark­ness of the night, where doubt and hope­less­ness sur­round, and when they look deep into them­selves and an­swer the phone that tor­ments them at this time with the cry ‘I will not be over­come’.

“So what does win­ning look like at this In­vic­tus? It will be dif­fer­ent for ev­ery ath­lete.

“Gary Robin­son, a sur­vivor of a Black Hawk crash, said win­ning for him is ‘see­ing my fam­ily, friends and sup­port­ers in the stands’.

“So­nia New­man, a vet­eran who had to learn to walk again, said ‘it’s show­ing my kids what I can achieve’.

“And Matthew Brumby, a wheel­chair rugby com­peti­tor, said win­ning is ‘to get out and have a crack’.”

Harry and Meghan are ex­pected to watch com­peti­tors tak­ing part in the road cy­cling and sail­ing events to­day, be­fore their tour con­tin­ues on Fraser Is­land in Queens­land.

The Duke of Sus­sex drives a re­mote con­trol car as the Duchess of Sus­sex looks on as they at­tend the In­vic­tus Games Jaguar Land Rover Driv­ing Chal­lenge on Cock­a­too Is­land, Syd­ney, on the fifth day of the royal cou­ple’s visit to Aus­tralia yes­ter­day

DO­MINIC LIP­IN­SKI

DO­MINIC LIP­IN­SKI

The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex pose for a photo with medal­lists at the In­vic­tus Games Jaguar Land Rover Driv­ing Chal­lenge yes­ter­day

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