Day 1 of 2017 Invictus Games gets underway with wheelchair tennis, athletic heats

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The first official day of competition got underway at the 2017 Invictus Games after a star-studded opening ceremony Saturday night.

On Saturday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined Prince Harry for the Games’ opening ceremony in Toronto, which featured performers, including Sarah McLachlan and Alessia Cara.

Sunday began with a preliminary round of wheelchair tennis at Nathan Phillips Square, and launched straight into athletic heats and finals at the York Lions Stadium.

About 550 athletes are expected to take part in the Games in Toronto over the next week, which Prince Harry founded in 2014 as a way to help wounded veterans with their recovery.

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Prince Harry arrives for medal presentations at the Invictus Games on Sunday. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Also on Sunday, the prince met with dozens of high-achieving Canadian youths at the presentation of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Awards.

The mood on Sunday was more subdued and formal than at Saturday night’s concert, but the excitement was palpable as Prince Harry greeted award winners at the Fairmount Royal York hotel in Toronto.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards honour 14-to-24-year-olds who take on projects related to personal development and community involvement.

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Harry talks to recipients of medals at The Duke of Edinburgh Awards. (Fred Thornhill/CBC)

Prince Harry walked around the room and greeted the award recipients warmly, asking them questions about their achievements.

In a speech before the ceremony began, Ontario Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell thanked Prince Harry for founding the Invictus Games, a multi-sport event for injured and sick soldiers.

Dowdeswell also praised Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, for founding The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 1963.
Prince Harry and the lieutenant-governor were also joined onstage by Lou Gizzarelli, Canada’s national president of the awards.

More than 500,000 young Canadians are currently taking part in award program.

Invictus Games – Harry Speech5:45

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/invictus-competition-1.4304719?cmp=rss