UPDATE: Remember when we told you about the Invictus medal winner who refused to accept her award? Yeah, you do, it’s all right here ↓↓, remember? The U.S. Army medic wanted her award to go to a hospital that saved her life. That. Well, that wasn’t just big talk. Yesterday, June 1, Prince Harry honoured Elizabeth Marks’ wishes and presented her gold medal to the medical team from Britain’s Papworth Hospital at Kensington Palace. We can only assume they were chuffed.
This was the story as of a few weeks ago:
Prince Harry has been on this side of the pond for over a week, first in Toronto to talk about next year’s Invictus Games, and now in Orlando, to take part in the 2016 Games. He’s been doing his part, chatting with volunteers, awarding the athletes, watching the events of the competition he founded and everything has been going swimmingly.
That is, until Wednesday when an American swimmer wouldn’t accept a gold medal Harry had tried to give her.
Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, a 25-year-old combat medic from Arizona who has been in the U.S. Army since she was 17 and still serves, suffered a serious hip injury in 2010 that left her with no sensation in one of her legs.
Marks, of Team USA won all four of the swimming events she entered but during the medal ceremony for her 100-metre freestyle, minutes after he awarded Marks with the gold, she handed it back to him.
Marks later explained that she wanted the prince to give the medal to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire. She was supposed to compete in the first Games in London in 2014 but when she got there, she collapsed with a near-fatal lung condition that led doctors to put her into an induced coma for 10 days.
“They absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the U.K. enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me,” Marks told reporters. “So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth.”
She added that she would “never be able to repay” them for saving her and for all the wonderful things they do but, hey, a gold medal will probably mean so much more for the staffers.
And for all those who noted some sparks flying between Harry and Elizabeth, sorry, but Marks is a happily married woman so nothing’s happening there. He’s not that charming. Right?