Bernie Broad ex­plains how pre­par­ing for Prince Harry’s In­vic­tus Games changed his life

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On 29 Novem­ber 2009, while serv­ing with the Gre­nadier Guards in Afghanistan, Ma­jor Bernie Broad’s life changed when an im­pro­vised de­vice blew up the lorry in which he was trav­el­ling. Both his legs had to be am­pu­tated be­low the knee and, in 2014, he re­tired from the Army.

Now, three years on, Bernie is tak­ing part in the third In­vic­tus Games, which be­gin in Toronto, Canada, next week.

The Games were founded by Prince Harry in 2014, bring­ing to­gether sick and wounded veter­ans and serv­ing Armed Forces per­son­nel from across the world to com­pete in a va­ri­ety of sports. Bernie is one of four mem­bers of the UK team whose sto­ries fea­ture in a new BBC1 doc­u­men­tary.

‘I needed some­thing to make me stand up tall again, so I had to ap­ply,’ says Bernie. ‘Im­me­di­ately, some­thing started to fire up in me and I’ve never felt more like my old self.’

Meet­ing Prince Harry has been a high­light, too. ‘He’s been through the ser­vices, so he gets it,’ says Bernie. ‘We owe him a mas­sive thank-you.’

Two faces… Barry and his me­gas­tar al­ter ego, Dame Edna Bernie with Harry, and (in­set) in ser­vice

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