Prince Harry dedicates Invictus speech to his personal heroine

On Saturday evening, Prince Harry ceremoniously opened the “Invictus Games,” which he founded, with a speech. There was one fact that was particularly touching: he focused on a Ukrainian medical soldier who had to spend three months in Russian captivity.

Last night at 7:20 p.m., Prince Harry gave us an absolute goosebumps moment. The 38-year-old took the stage completely unexpectedly at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, after the lectern had been dismantled during a one-player film shortly beforehand. The Merkur Game Arena was left in the firm belief that the area would be made free for artist Macklemore – but then the son of King Charles III emerged from the darkness. (74). The Duke of Sussex presented his concerns to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. After ten minutes and nine seconds, one part of his speech in particular stuck.

Prince Harry’s personal heroine is Yuliia Paievska

The grandson of Queen Elizabeth II († 96) repeatedly emphasized how much respect and awe he had for the 500 soldiers at this year’s Invictus Games who were physically and/or mentally wounded in the war. According to Harry, all the people who compete and help at the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014, are heroes. Nevertheless, he deliberately highlighted one woman in particular – and that was not his wife Duchess Meghan (42), but Yuliia Paievska. The Ukrainian woman’s story has been touching the world for several years. traces the path of the courageous heroine.

Yuliia Paievska, known as “Taira”, is now 54 years old and was born in Kiev in 1968. She found her calling in her job as a paramedic. Helping other people – Taira’s elixir of life. As early as 2013, she volunteered to help with the Euromaidan protests. As a medical soldier, she actively helped numerous wounded people at the front.

When the war in Ukraine began in February 2022, the brave woman went to the center of the bombing, to Mariupol. Two months later she wanted to take part in the Invictus Games in The Hague, but Taira was taken prisoner by Russia on March 16, 2022. For three months it was not clear where Taira was or whether she was still alive. Instead of her, her daughter traveled to the Netherlands and took part in the competition herself. Her only wish: “Bring me back my mother”. Taira was finally released in June 2022. The circumstances have not yet been clarified, but President Volodymyr Zelensky appears to have played a key role.

Prince Harry equipped a medical soldier with a hand-held camera – which allowed the memory card to be smuggled abroad

At the front, however, Taira not only helped and saved lives – not only of her fellow countrymen, by the way, she also looked after seriously injured Russian soldiers because she wants to treat everyone equally – she also documented a diary of horrors. According to “Watson”, Prince Harry himself is said to be behind it because he started talking to Taira and equipped her with a small hand-held camera.

Taira ultimately took these with her on missions in order to record traumatizing experiences and the conditions during the war. Taira then gave the camera chip to media representatives from the Associated Press. The small memory card was taken out of the country in a tampon. The recordings are supposedly partly made in the Netflix-Documentary “Heart of Invictus” can be seen, which Prince Harry is playing a leading role in driving forward.

In 2023, Taira will be able to experience the first Invictus Games in Düsseldorf in person again after three months of captivity. A fact that extremely moves the British prince. In his speech, he addressed Taira in front of thousands of spectators in the Merkur Game Arena: “I would like to use the moment to pay tribute to Team Ukraine and in particular to a very special person: Taira. (…) I don’t think I have ever met anyone as brave and resilient as you. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that you embody the true spirit of Ukraine and Invictus, and it’s so nice to see you and feel your energy in person. And boy did we miss you last year”.

Jean Harris

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