‘BabyBlade runner’ Rio Woolf saw his “dream come true” this week when he met Prince Harry for a third time.
Attending the Invictus Games in Toronto with his parents, the nine-year-old, who was born with tibial aplasia, which resulted in him having his right leg amputated through the knee, had met the Prince at the two previous Games, in London and Orlando, and made it a memorable hat-trick on Tuesday.
He told Jewish News: “It was amazing to meet Prince Harry for a third time – I feel so lucky! He was so nice! As soon as he saw me in the crowd, he came straight over and said: “Hi Rio, very nice to see you – how are you?” He asked me when I got here, and I told him we’d been to see the wheelchair tennis, athletics and the sitting volleyball.”
Enjoying himself, aside from meeting the Prince, he added: “This is my third Invictus Games after London and Orlando and I’m really excited for a whole week of sport. I’ve been meeting lots of a nice volunteers and amazing athletes.
“My favourite event was the blade runner races at the athletics – the competitors had prosthetic running blades just like mine and they were so fast! We were also cheering on our American friend Mike Nicholson, a triple amputee wounded in Afghanistan who we met at the Orlando Invictus Games, who did really well in the wheelchair races! We also saw two great matches at the wheelchair tennis – New Zealand vs USA and Australia vs The Netherlands.
— Rio Woolf (@BladeBoyRio) 27 September 2017
“I love the Invictus Games because it’s amazing seeing all the people competing, who were in wars ten years ago and now they’re here. They’re very brave doing these sports, it’s not about competition, but about taking part.”
Hoping to meet him again and get a ‘Harry hug hat-trick’, once he returns to the UK, Rio will be attending the England Amputee Football Association Junior Training session at Manchester City, the EAFA Gala Awards Dinner in Blackburn next month, as well as the WheelPower Primary Sports Camp at Stoke Mandeville in November.