KEY POINTS

  • Warrior Games 2021 was canceled due to COVID-19
  • Prince Harry said the service members inspired him to create Invictus Games
  • Jill Biden recalled the first time she met Prince Harry

Prince Harry and U.S. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden have partnered for a virtual event held in honor of wounded warrior athletes who would have taken part in Warrior Games 2021.

The event was slated for this week in Orlando, Florida but was canceled due to COVID-19.

In a Zoom conference call on Monday, Prince Harry told service members that it was their assistance that had inspired him to create his Paralympic-style Invictus Games. He told them the event “never would’ve been created had I not been inspired by every single one of you, and you companions and your families, and everything you’ve given in service to this country.”

He added that the Warrior Games and the Invictus Games are equally important and are ultimate reminders of service both at home and overseas. “It is about the physical and the mental fitness of those who have sacrificed so much,” he said.

“To see every single one of you here with the pride on your faces makes me incredibly happy to know how far you guys have come, the dark places that you’ve been to, and where you are now. Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for showering us the way. You guys are leaders in every aspect of your lives, both while serving and within your communities as well. This community is as strong as ever and that also makes me incredibly proud,” he continued.

Prince Harry put on his first Invictus Games in London a year after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013. Meanwhile, U.S. First Lady has been actively involved in the adaptive sporting community since taking part in the Joining Forces, the White House initiative to support military and veteran families, survivors and caregivers.

During the virtual conference, she recounted the first time she had met Prince Harry at the inauguration of the Invictus Games and commended the Duke of Sussex for his commitment to “lifting up service members from around the globe.”

The first Warrior Games was held in 2010 to celebrate the resiliency and dedication of the wounded, injured, and ill U.S. military service members. 

Jill Biden speaks at a presidential campaign event for her husband Joe Biden on September 30, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio Jill Biden speaks at a presidential campaign event for her husband Joe Biden on September 30, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio Photo: AFP / ROBERTO SCHMIDT