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99 km/h skeleton slide hurtles Prince Harry into B.C. for Invictus countdown

Prince says he jumped on a plane to London after learning of King Charles III’s cancer

Even after a second run, Prince Harry couldn’t crack the 100km/h mark as he raced face-first down one of the world’s fastest bobsled tracks in Whistler, B.C., aboard a tiny skeleton sled.

“I’m going to go again. I’m going to keep going until the sun comes down,” he joked after his second run on Thursday.

Harry, who topped out at 99 km/h on both runs, was in Whistler with wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to visit Invictus Games athletes taking part in training camps and to promote the Games coming to Vancouver and Whistler next year.

The 2025 games will be the first to feature winter sports, including the skeleton, skiing events and wheelchair curling, but it will also host indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball events as it has previously.

The prince founded the Games for wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans after he served in Afghanistan.

Cowbells rang out as the prince did his runs. As he was helped off the track the first time, he said with a smile that “everyone should do this, it should be compulsory.”

Experienced sliders start at the top of the track, although the prince started at the halfway mark. His first run ended with some bumpy clattering into the sides, but his second was smoother and saw him go further up the exit ramp.

Meghan was waiting at the bottom both times.

“Meghan, you’ve got to go,” someone shouted. “No way,” she replied.

Before Prince Harry got on the tiny sled he was given a safety briefing, while medics were standing by in case of an accident.

American Ivan Morera, a single-arm amputee who was wounded in a combat zone in Afghanistan, is in Whistler for the training camp and says he is “very appreciative” to the prince for giving service members an opportunity to find purpose after injury.

He previously competed in rowing, seated volleyball, archery and field sports at the 2023 Games in Germany, which he says was an “incredible” experience.

Though Morera still serves as an active-duty medic, he says he is attending the training camp this week with plans to compete next year in skeleton, nordic skiing and the biathlon.

“I’m continuously recovering from this injury, maybe not physically, but emotionally, mentally,” he said in an interview. “A big catastrophic event like that affects you, so adaptive sports is my way of dealing with that.”

Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 will host about 500 competitors from 23 nations from Feb. 8 to 16, 2025.

Prince Harry and Meghan will be in Vancouver on Friday.

Prince Harry said that he immediately arranged to go to London after his father, King Charles III, called to tell him he had cancer.

“I jumped on a plane and went to go see him as soon as I could,” Harry told the news program “Good Morning America.” “I love my family. The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go see and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that.’’

Harry arrived from California less than 48 hours after Buckingham Palace announced on Feb. 5 that the king had cancer and had begun treatment.

The visit between the monarch and his younger son at Clarence House was relatively brief, as Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, were seen leaving about an hour later.

The palace has not revealed the type of cancer the 75-year-old king has, saying only that it was discovered during a treatment for an enlarged prostate but isn’t prostate cancer.

The Duke of Sussex wouldn’t reveal any details about his father’s prognosis. “That stays between me and him,” he said.

Harry has had a troubled relationship with his family since he quit royal duties in 2020 and moved to Los Angeles with his wife, Meghan, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. He showed up alone for his father’s coronation in May but left as soon as the ceremony ended to return to California for his son’s birthday.

Asked if the illness could help reunify his family, Harry, speaking at an Invictus Games event near Vancouver, said, “Yeah, I’m sure.” He said he has witnessed that type of galvanizing effect among the wounded service members who compete in the games the prince founded in 2014.

“Throughout all these families, I see it on a day to day basis,” he said. “You know, again, the strength of the family unit coming together.”

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