Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Harry puts the 2017 Invictus Games on ice as he drops puck to start hockey game

Published 02/05/2016

Harry is the driving force behind the Invictus Games
Harry is the driving force behind the Invictus Games

Prince Harry has marked the launch of next year's Toronto Invictus Games by dropping a puck to symbolically start a sledge hockey game - but quickly said he would not be joining in.

Harry was mobbed by hundreds of youngsters invited to watch the exhibition encounter at Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre.

After a major ceremony to launch the third Invictus Games, which will be hosted by Toronto in 2017, the prince symbolically kicked off the sledge hockey game with the traditional puck-dropping ceremony.

Sledge hockey - a form of ice hockey for players with disabilities - will be a new addition to the Games next year and at the Centre - the former Maple Leaf Gardens venue - Harry joined in the fun.

He was accompanied by Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau and the prince dropped the puck between two players - who were caught a little unawares as they were posing for official pictures.

Harry held out his arms in mock disappointment but was given the puck as a souvenir.

Earlier he went out into the middle of the ice to greet the hundreds of screaming schoolchildren sitting in the stands and when asked by a compere why he had picked the new event of sledge hockey for Invictus said: "This is Canada, everything happens on ice."

He said about the Canadian organisers: "It was a very easy decision for them to say we really (want) a sledge hockey team to be part of the Games.

"The only thing that worries me is somebody somewhere is thinking how they are going to get me on the ice - looking at these guys I'm already going to say no."

Harry stood in a team dug-out with Mr Trudeau during the exhibition match and even banged on the protective plastic wall behind him to encourage the children.

And when he left he high-fived the kids who surged forward to meet their special guests and he had a brief chat with a few of them.

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph