Prince Harry and Two Invictus Games Hopefuls put Through their Paces by BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans
Royal marines JJ Chalmers and Luke Darlington, who are hoping to compete in this September’s Invictus Games, joined Prince Harry for an exclusive interview with BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans during his breakfast show to discuss the international sporting event coming to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 10 -14 September.
During the pre-record interview which took place at the BBC Radio 2 studios, Prince Harry explained why the Invictus Games presented by Jaguar Land Rover was such an important event and how the event will use the power of sport to help wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women through their rehabilitation and recovery. He also urged the UK public to buy tickets and come out and support not only the 100-strong British Armed Forces team but also the 300 other participants who will be coming from 13 other nations.
Joining him in the interview were Royal Marines JJ Chalmers and Luke Darlington, who were both injured whilst serving in Afghanistan with 42 Commando.
JJ Chalmers was seriously injured by an IED which claimed the lives of two of his colleagues. He suffered severe injuries to his arms, face and legs.
He explains: “I think the Invictus Games is going to be incredible for a few reasons, first and foremost, for us. Once upon a time I woke up in a hospital bed absolutely broken thinking I’ll never do this again. I’ve got to the point where I realise that I can do a lot of things, but not only do them, but I can compete in them. I just want to keep pushing the boundaries of what I’m capable of doing, and competition is one way of doing it.”
Luke Darlington suffered a Penetrating Brain Injury with retained shrapnel. He was in coma for four weeks and his injuries have left him with a partial right side paralysis and 25% less brain capacity.
Luke explains: “I don’t have any regrets. I went through a phase in my life when I thought I couldn’t go on and live like this. But then I realised it didn’t make me feel any better, so I stopped. I want to take part in the Invictus Games because the opportunity to represent the UK would be a brilliant feeling. Sport, especially cycling, has helped me enormously. Probably even more psychologically than physically. It’s enabled me to believe in myself again.”
I think the Invictus Games is going to be incredible for a few reasons, first and foremost, for us. Once upon a time I woke up in a hospital bed absolutely broken thinking I’ll never do this again. I’ve got to the point where I realise that I can do a lot of things, but not only do them, but I can compete in them. I just want to keep pushing the boundaries of what I’m capable of doing, and competition is one way of doing it
Invictus is Latin for unconquered, a word that embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and what they can achieve, post-injury. The Invictus Games are a unique chance for the public to celebrate this ‘invictus spirit’ through sporting achievement. More than 400 competitors, serving and veteran and from 14 nations, will compete in nine adaptive sports in venues made famous by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There will also be a competitive driving challenge organised by Presenting Partner Jaguar Land Rover.
The Invictus Games are being organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. Launched by Prince Harry earlier this year, the event will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.
Tickets for are on sale at www.invictusgames.org and cost £12.85 per person.