While in Toronto to launch the countdown for the 2017 Invictus Games on Monday (May 2), to be hosted by Canada for the first time, Prince Harry honoured a sport that will join the roster for the third annual event: hockey. While at Ryerson University's Mattamy Athletic Centre for a sledge hockey match, the 31-year-old showed how much he knows about the Great White North, saying, "This is Canada, everything happens on the ice!"
"The only thing I'm worried about is I know someone is going to try to get me on the ice," the charming prince joked to the crowd. He did the honours performing the ceremonial puck drop to start the game while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor John Tory - clad in a We The North jacket - looked on.
TAP TO SEE FULL GALLERYPrince Harry performed the ceremonial puck drop at Ryerson University.
Sledge hockey is a seated form of the beloved winter sport, created to allow those with physical disabilities to participate. A favourite in the Paralympic Games, the event is sure to be an exciting one next year for the injured servicemen and women who compete in the Invictus Games, and the spectators who support them.
At the Fairmont Royal York hotel earlier in the day, Prince Harry addressed the crowd with his hopes and excitement for the third chapter of the games. "Toronto will take on responsibility for a competition that has the power to inspire millions of people around the world and to remind us all of the amazing contribution that our servicemen, women and veterans make." With 600 competitors from 16 countries, the third games promise to be the biggest and best yet, or so Harry says he's been told!
Justin Trudeau also welcomed the royal to the city and praised his determination and leadership. "Without his vision, the Invictus Games would not be what they are today," he said.
At the end of the emotional kickoff event, all of the speakers signed a yellow "I AM" statue, officially marking the countdown to the third games in Toronto.
Prince Harry has one more engagement in the city before he heads to Orlando for the second Invictus Games over the next few weeks - a private afternoon meeting with Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.