Not just hard work! Prince Harry proved that there was time for some fun in Orlando on Wednesday, May 11, as he allowed Invictus Team USA swimmer Sergeant Elizabeth Marks to dress him in her tiny swim team training top.
But the hilarious moment, which saw Marks zip the heir to the British throne into her too-small item of clothing, was actually one small, lighthearted part of a much more meaningful exchange.
Marks, 25, an American military medic from Arizona, won all four of the swimming events she entered in the 2016 Invictus Games. Prince Harry presented her with her 100-meter freestyle medal, but the inspiring competitor, who was injured in Iraq, refused to accept the prize.
She insisted that the handsome prince take it back to England with him and pass it on to Cambridge’s Papworth Hospital in the U.K., a medical facility that had helped save her life when she was in Britain for the 2014 Invictus Games and developed a near-fatal lung condition.
Harry, 31, initially refused Marks’ request, but when she approached him again and asked him to take her medal for the second time, he eventually agreed.
Talking about the event that led to her being on life support for 10 days, Marks told reporters, “I landed in London and became very ill very rapidly. I was in hospital in London and went into respiratory distress syndrome. They shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] life support and that ultimately saved my life,” she explained.
“I can’t thank the U.K. enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me,” the athlete continued, fighting back the tears. “So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth. Thank you,” she added, in a message to the hospital. “I’ll never be able to repay you, but what you’re doing is wonderful.”
After her success in the pool at the Orlando Games, Marks said she was looking forward to competing in the Paralmypics in Rio this summer in four swimming events.
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