The Invictus Games Orlando 2016 Inspires Even the Youngest of Fans - Invictus Games 2016 - Orlando - May 8 - 12 - ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The Invictus Games Orlando 2016 Inspires Even the Youngest of Fans

ESPN and Wounded Warriors

The Invictus Games Orlando 2016 Inspires Even the Youngest of Fans

A young Invictus Games fan got quite the surprise today while watching the Powerlifting finals at the HP Field House. Traveling all the way from the UK to Orlando to attend the Games, seven year-old Rio Woolf looks forward to cheering on fellow amputees in several competitive sports. Little did he know, he would reunite with his hero, Prince Harry.

Following the Powerlifting medal ceremony, Rio was in for an unexpected visitor. After spotting Rio, Prince Harry visited with him and even posed for a playful two-arm flex photograph. Rio’s face beamed with joy as he talk to Prince Harry, drawing a large onsite crowd.

Rio was born with a rare bone deficiency in his lower right leg, necessitating a through-knee amputation at 14 months. In 2012, his parents introduced him to Paralympics and he was immediately inspired to get a blade of his own. Since then, Rio has attended many Paralympic sporting events, including both the Invictus Games in London and now Orlando.

From Rio’s perspective, the long trip from UK was worth it.  After taking a “one thousand hour” flight from London to Orlando, Rio exaggerated, he was thrilled to see Prince Harry again. Rio trains with a wheelchair basketball team called the London Titans and is especially eager to watch the finals on Thursday at 10:30 for the semi-finals.

Inspired by other local heroes, Rio also visited Winter while in Florida, the real amputee dolphin from the movie Dolphin Tale. Rio’s mom, Juliette, said the Opening Ceremony had a special meaning for Rio because of Morgan Freeman’s role in the film, starring as Winter’s prosthetist: “Being surrounded by so many people with a strong affinity for people like Rio is what makes this event so special for us.”


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