For her first solo trip outside the United States, First Lady Melania Trump is leading the U.S. delegation to an international sporting event for wounded service members in Canada, called the Invictus Games.
On Saturday, she arrived in Toronto, where she met with Britain’s Prince Harry, founder of the Invictus Games and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She also addressed a reception for the nearly 100 American athletes participating in the week-long Olympic-style competition; and attended the opening ceremony.
Her decision to lead the American delegation, whose members include Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, professional golfer Nancy Lopez and entertainer Wayne Newton, reflects Melania Trump’s “utmost respect” for the hard work, courage and sacrifice of the U.S. military, said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the First Lady.
“She feels strongly that they – and their families – should be honored every day,” Grisham said, adding that the first lady has “great admiration for the role the games have played in empowering those who have been injured while serving.”
Prince Harry established the Paralympic-style sports event in 2014 to draw attention to men and women who were injured in combat.
Five hundred and fifty competitors from 17 countries will compete in 12 sports at the event, which takes place from September 23-30. Approximately 100 American athletes are competing in the games.
“In just two short years, the Invictus Games have allowed thousands of injured and wounded servicemen and women from many different countries to participate in adaptive sports competitions — something that should be lauded and supported worldwide. I am honored by the opportunity to represent our country at this year’s games,” Mrs. Trump said in a statement prior to the trip.
Former first lady Michelle Obama led the American delegation to Orlando last year, while former second lady, Dr. Jill Biden, led the delegation to London in 2014.
It’s been a busy week for the first lady, who delivered a speech at the U.N. General Assembly last week, in which she condemned bullying. Then she accompanied the President to an event marking the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, where she spoke with military families.
Melania Trump also held her first-ever event at the White House garden on Friday, holding court with members of the local Boys & Girls Club.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) September 23, 2017
Prince Harry has met the US First Lady Melania Trump in Canada.
Later he’ll launch the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto pic.twitter.com/yjzWSdZUzD
— Global’s Newsroom (@GlobalsNewsroom) September 23, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
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