Everything Handsome Prince Harry Has Been Up to at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto
Shortly after touching down in Toronto, Harry wasted no time and started meeting with athletes from various countries during their training sessions on Friday.
The royal kicked off events leading up to the games by attending a special meeting that highlighted how sports can benefit the competitors and their families.
Harry greeted Captain Trevor Greene at the opening ceremonies on Sept. 23. "The way he talks and the body language and the way he acts, you can see the passion that he has for all of this," says another veteran, Richard Hobson. "What he brings to this is such a big spotlight on a huge issue. I've been in the army for ten years and never heard of it until I met [my wife] two years ago."
American veteran Invictus Elizabeth Marks, who memorably gave her medal back to Harry after last year's games in Orlando, told PEOPLE about the difference Harry has made in the lives of the Invictus competitors. "He really is a big brother to all of us," she says. "He's taken us under his wing and loved and cares and believes in what's happening."
In a playful moment with the Australian team, Harry pretends to kick a cuddly kangaroo toy (the team's "mascot.") "I thought he was going to punt it into the pool for a second," competitor Chris Clark tells PEOPLE. "He has a good sense of humor."
Clark had previously met Harry in the lead-up to the games last year. "He's a very approachable young man," Clark says of the ex-army officer. "His experiences being very similar to a lot of us makes it a lot easier to connect."
On Saturday, Prince Harry met with U.S. first lady Melania Trump for the first time as she lead the USA team delegation to the Invictus Games “Thank you. Thank you so much for coming,” Harry said.
Harry showed off his sweet side while playing with some children after his visit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto — Canada’s largest addiction and mental health hospital. “He was so lovely and really humble and genuine. You can see his love for children comes out very well,” remarked one of the children’s mother.
In an adorable moment, Harry reaches out to pet a puppy outside the hospital.
Harry drove with Daimy Gommers, 5, at the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Saturday. Daimy, who is from the Neatherlands, has a special connection to the games — her father Paul Gommers is competing in archery and sitting volleyball. Her mother Danielle Gommers says, "Every time she sees Prince Harry on the television or in a magazine she says 'It's my friend Prince Harry.' She said the drive was nice. Now she wants an ice cream."
Harry shook hands with the Prime Minister of Canada, the games' host country, Justin Trudeau, on Saturday. Harry told the BBC that his goal of the games is to reach all the people who made need them. "The biggest or rather main effort for myself and the team is to make sure we are getting the hardest to reach people," he said. "There are some people that will put themselves forward and come to the trails, but it's the ones that are stuck on the sofa, finding it really hard to leave the house, those are the people that I really, really want to get to the games. They exist in every single nation."
Harry gets in a little cuddle time with a service dog in Toronto. He told the BBC that the games — and their participants — have changed his life. "Being able to wear your nation's flag on your arm or on your chest, being part of a team," he said. "Respect, teamwork discipline, all of these things that are lacking in the world today. These individuals are fantastic role models and role models that I think everyone should all be looking up to."
Harry brought girlfriend Meghan Markle along to watch wheelchair tennis on Monday. Kylie Lawler, whose husband Sean was playing on the court for the Australian team, told reporters that the two were friendly in the stands. "She was excited to be here and lovely," Lawler said. They seemed awesome. He's just a normal person, the most down-to-earth."
The medalists from Tuesday's cycling competition pose with Prince Harry after he handed them their medals. Gabby Graves-Wake, an American Marine veteran and one of the winners, said that Harry joked with her when he gave her her cycling medal. "I had seen him yesterday at powerlifting and my coach had handed me the medals that I had won for my previous events of track and field," she told PEOPLE. "And today [Harry] was like 'Whoa, who's winning all the medals?'"
Harry shares a hug with the cycling gold medal winner, Canadian Julie Marcotte.
Later on Tuesday, Harry hits the green behind the wheel of a golf cart.
Harry jokes around while watching the golf competitors tee off during the Invictus Games.
During the sitting volleyball finals, Harry jokes around with Emily Henson, the daughter of Invictus competitor David Henson, as she attempts to steal his popcorn.
Harry smiles on stage at the WE Day Concert on the sixth day of the games.
Harry takes a quick photo on his phone during an archery competition at the games.
Harry hangs with his surprise guests, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Jill Biden, at the basketball finals.