Prince Harry unveils the UK team that will be competing at Invictus Games Orlando

by hellomagazine.com

With just a month to go before the Invictus Games are held in Orlando, Prince Harry has unveiled the team that will be representing the UK in the competition. The team is made up of 110 wounded, injured and sick serving military personnel and veterans, who came together for the first time on Wednesday morning at Buckingham Palace.

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Harry, who is the patron and driving force behind the Invictus Games, met the team and posed for an official photograph. The prince shared the spotlight with Jester, a handsome two-year-old black Labrador, who was at the event and barked excitedly in front of the Prince.

Laughing, Harry couldn't resist bending down to tickle Jester's tummy. The friendly canine belongs to former Royal Marine Jon Flint, from Midhurst, who is going to represent the UK in swimming and archery.

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Prince Harry joked around with Team GB at Buckingham Palace

Jester has been trained to help Jon if he falls, picks up items he has dropped and even assists with daily tasks such as putting on the washing.

Laughing at his dog's antics, Jon said: "He's not the first of my dogs to do that. My previous dog, Varick, who died suddenly last year disgraced himself at last year's press conference by barking all the way through Prince Harry's speech.

"The prince was lucky. Jester doesn't roll on his back for anyone."

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The team is made up of 110 wounded, injured and sick serving military personnel and veterans

Army Captain David Wiseman was named the UK Team Captain for 2016, having taken over from Captain Dave Henson.

New team leader David, who said he "could not be prouder" to have been selected, fought in Afghanistan in 2009. He was commanding a small British Infantry team embedded within the Afghan National Army in Helmand province when they came into contact with the Taliban.

David was shot in the chest and to this day the round remains embedded in his right lung. David was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, a condition that he says is now manageable thanks to the treatment he received alongside his physical rehabilitation.

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The event marked the official handover of the Invictus Games flag from Prince Harry to US Team Captain Will Reynolds

Speaking at the team launch, David said: "I think the Invictus Games is a shining example of what this community can achieve, a group of individuals from around the world coming together in order to show everyone that beyond injury, they can achieve the extraordinary."

Harry, 31, first launched the Invictus Games in London in 2014. The games are a Paralympic-style sporting competition for wounded servicemen and women.

Following on from the success of the first tournament, the games are moving to Orlando and will be held from 8 to 12 May at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

A total of 500 competitors from 15 nations will compete in ten sports including wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball. A new sport for 2016 has been added, wheelchair tennis.

The Buckingham Palace event also marked the official handover of the Invictus Games flag from Prince Harry to US Team Captain Will Reynolds, signifying the handover from London to Orlando. The flag will be transported to the US in a specially commissioned Jaguar F-PACE.

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Invictus is the Latin for unconquered

Before the Invictus Games was introduced to London, Harry admitted that he had "stolen" the idea from the Warrior Games in America.

"The Americans have had the Warrior Games now for the last four and a half, five years," he told BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in 2014.

"They have the Navy against the R.A.F. against the Army," he added. "We went over there, I had a team of 30 UK guys that joined in with the Americans and basically saw this event take place and decided that it was such a wonderful concept we should steal it, make it bigger, make it better and bring it back home."

Invictus is the Latin for unconquered – a word that embodies the fighting spirit of the wounded and injured and what they can achieve post-injury.