I feel for Harry. Imagine growing up in the shadow of a brother so handsome and brave and charming, with a beautiful wife and now two gorgeous children. Plus William could be king someday, assuming his grandmother ever bows out, and his father chooses to pass on the posting.
Harry has had a rougher go of it. He was younger when he lost his mum, and he acted out in his teens and early twenties. Remember his Nazi costume at his friend’s party? Or his playing strip billiards in Vegas? (He must not be very good at billiards.) Perhaps all the princely pressures, and being fifth in line to the throne, led to his acting out and drinking a bit much.
I’m pleased to report that, from outward appearances at least, Harry has grown up. He now devotes himself to supporting military veterans and is dating a beautiful and talented American girlfriend. Way to turn your life around, Harry.
Harry and Meghan made their first public appearance this week at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Their momentous hand holding was a top news item that was captured from every possible angle. As I was watching the captivating news item, however, I was struck by the lack of focus on the athletic event they’d come to watch, which was wheelchair tennis. I saw no photos of any players on or off the court.
How do people relegated to wheelchairs following a serious injury would be able to play tennis? How would they move to receive a serve? Would their wheelchairs move fast enough to allow return of a fast-moving ball? Or would the balls move more slowly because the players lacked the lower body strength to propel their rackets? How exactly would they move their wheelchairs without dropping said rackets? The whole venture sounded incomprehensible to me.
Thank goodness for YouTube, where every question you might possibly have is answered instantaneously. I easily found a video of two women playing wheelchair tennis. Over the course of two minutes and forty-three seconds, I learned that: a) these players do hold their rackets in one hand as they manoeuvre their fancy wheelchairs; b) the serve seems less powerful, which only follows from their weakened lower body strength; and c) the volleys may indeed be shorter, at least from the brief clip I observed. The player needs to anticipate where her opponent will direct the ball and somehow get her chair in position in time to return it. This is not easy. These athletes are incredibly talented.
So Harry and Meghan, I wish you a long and happy relationship. Now please step aside so we can see the incredible athleticism of the true survivors. These athletes have been to who knows where and back and have adapted magnificently to profound changes in their functioning. If we had the opportunity to see them playing, we’d certainly witness incredible strength and bravery.
Furthermore, when you are ready to announce your wedding, or perhaps Meghan’s first pregnancy, consider finding a different venue than, for example, the Paralympics or the Special Olympics. Nothing personal, but I’d prefer to watch awe-inspiring athleticism over your public displays of affection any day. Come to think of it, you probably would too, wouldn’t you?