Chalk it up as one of the perks of being No.1 in the world. At a reception following the opening ceremonies for the Invictus Games – the Paralympic-style event for wounded veterans being held this week at the Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando – Lydia Ko, who lives 5 minutes away, got to meet Prince Harry.
The Prince created the games, first held in London in 2014. This year he not only attended, but awarded medals to many of the winners, including U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, 25, from Arizona, who won four swimming events including the 100-meter freestyle. After Prince Harry placed that gold medal around her neck, Marks took it off and asked him to give it to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, England, where the staff saved her life two years ago.
“I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me,” Marks said. “So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth.”
Ko attended the opening ceremonies last Friday, May 6, and will attend closing ceremonies today, where she will meet many of the athletes.
— Lydia Ko (@LydiaKo) May 12, 2016
“It is such an honor to meet Prince Harry and to support the Invictus Games,” Ko said. “There are so many incredible athletes participating this year and I feel so inspired by their stories. It is a humbling reminder that I am so fortunate to be able to pursue a career in golf.”
Then, because it’s Lydia, she dropped all formality and said, “Prince Harry was so laid back. You would never know he was a Royal except for his security detail.”