'See You in Orlando!' Prince Harry Passes the Flag for His Invictus Games at Buckingham Palace
"He has given us another outlet to show our different roads to recovery," U.S. team leader Capt. Will Reynolds tells PEOPLE
On the forecourt of the magnificent Buckingham Palace, Harry made the ceremonial handover to U.S. team leader Captain Will Reynolds. “He said, to take care of the flag and that he would see it over in Orlando,” Reynolds tells PEOPLE.
Prince Harry “asked about the state of the team and the level of excitement was for the U.S. team,” says Reynolds. “He asked if everybody was training hard and excited for the games.”
For his part, Reynolds told the royal “that everyone is ready to move down to Orlando and do great things. The games keep growing and the mark keeps going higher. They keep getting better.”
Harry was at the palace to unveil the 110-member British team. They will be among the 15 different countries sending more than 500 athletes to take part.
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Also attending the hand-off: British captain David Wiseman, who joined Harry in Nepal as they rebuilt a school last month. “There is no shortage of morale here today,” said Wiseman.
Wiseman – who was commanding a small British Infantry team embedded within the Afghan National Army in 2009 when he was shot in combat – was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, a condition he says is now manageable thanks to the treatment he has received alongside his physical rehabilitation.
“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,” he added.
“Prince Harry was a driving force in bringing these games to life. He is immensely and genuinely passionate about veterans and the armed forced communities and he firmly believes sport is a great vehicle for recovery.”
Harry, who served two tours of Afghanistan, “has given us another outlet to show our different roads to recovery,” says Reynolds. “He has given the international military community another chance to get together in a positive light and compete together on a friendly stage.”
Reynolds says spectators at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex can expect to see motivated teams “working hard to compete against each other and beat each other, but also they ll see that level of camaraderie and spirit shine through.
“It s a great family event with great spectating and great motivation for the kids and parents alike. And you’re right down in Disney World, the mecca for family and good fun.”
Reynolds hopes his own team wins, “but all the teams are going to have a great showing.” He adds, “It is all about sharing in our journey and sharing the tricks of the trade for all of us who have been wounded or injured in combat or training so we can reach that point of recovery together.”