Prince Harry Plays Sports With Children, Attends World Cup Match on Brazil Tour: Pictures
Prince Harry is a jolly good sport, indeed! The redheaded royal, 29, continued his tour of Brazil on Tuesday, June 24, with a visit to Minas Tennis Club in the city of Belo Horizonte, which will be a training camp for Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic teams ahead of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. There, he charmed both coaches and kids by partaking in a few of the club's athletic activities.
Thousands of people flocked to the center to greet the Prince, including many young women—some of whom burst into tears upon meeting him. Once inside the arena, he met Brazilian Olympic swimmer Cesar Cielo, who won gold at Beijing and bronze in London, and agreed to swim in a relay with some of the youths at the club. Harry was given the honor of announcing the start of the race, which he did, cheekily. "Cesar, you look great," he told Cielo after the athlete had taken off his tracksuit.
"He seems to be a very nice guy," the Olympian said afterward, noting that the British team's decision to train at Minas Tennis Club was a historic one. "It's one of the biggest moments in the entire history of the project," he told reporters. "Great Britain has come off a great Olympic result in 2012. It's an honor for the club to have such a great nation based here."
Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
After the swimming demonstration, Prince Harry made his way into the sports complex, where he gamely joined some kids—aged 3 to 9—in playing soccer. "I'll go in goal, and you take some penalties at me, then you go in goal, and I'll take some penalties," he told them. He proceeded to let each child score against him.
"It's a dream for the children to meet him. You can tell he loves children," education manager Claudio Olivio said of Prince William's younger brother. "He's a very good role model for the children."
Harry also played some basketball at the club, and posed for pictures with some of the young athletes. One activity he wouldn't touch? Judo. Challenged to a bout by Brazilian judo champion Luciano Correia, the Prince quipped to Us Weekly, "I'm not doing any of that."
Later in the day, the royal was a VIP at the Costa Rica vs. England World Cup match at the Estadio Mineiro. Though not as big a soccer fan as his brother, he seemed to enjoy the game. "He smiled a lot and appeared to be into it," a source tells Us Weekly.