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Prince Harry in Invictus tribute to wounded soldiers

By Tony Jones

Prince Harry praised wounded soldiers from around the globe for their stories that "move, inspire and humble" as he launched the Invictus Games yesterday.

The sporting spectacular began with a rousing military-themed ceremony that celebrated the achievements of injured and sick servicemen and women.

The night was the culmination of months of hard work by the prince, who was inspired by the US Warrior Games and vowed to bring a larger event to the UK.

He has succeeded in his aims and teams from 13 nations will compete over four days in London in a range of challenging events.

In the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the home of London 2012, Harry was introduced by US First Lady Michelle Obama who had recorded a video message .

She said: "To all of the competitors here, I just want you to know how incredible you are."

The prince told the 6,500 spectators who had watched the opening ceremony: "No longer are these inspirational men and women defined by their injury but as athletes and competitors."

Competitors from Afghanistan led the parade of teams and received a standing ovation from the spectators who filled stands in the shadow of the Olympic arena.

Missing was the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, who is suffering from acute morning sickness. She will also be absent from today's opening events.

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