Prince Harry makes Netflix debut as he says Olympic vision of acceptance is 'needed more than ever'

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·2 mins read
Prince Harry pictured congratulating Wheelchair Basketball gold medallist Paul Guest at the 2018 Invictus Game in Sydney (Getty Images)
Prince Harry pictured congratulating Wheelchair Basketball gold medallist Paul Guest at the 2018 Invictus Game in Sydney (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has said the vision of acceptance of the Olympics and Paralympics is needed now more than ever before as he made his Netflix debut.

Harry, 35, took part in the documentary Rising Phoenix for the streaming service, which tells the story of the formation of the Paralympics through interviews with athletes and those associated with the first games.

The Duke of Sussex lent his voice as the founder of the Invictus Games, a sporting tournament for injured ex-military personnel.

In the documentary, he says: “The Olympics vision has not been completed, as still those that are referred to as disabled are not being encouraged or accepted in society at large.”

Referencing the work of the Games founder Sir Ludwig Guttman, he added: “What he was doing back then is needed more now than it has ever been.”

The Invictus Games were where Harry and Meghan made their debut as a couple, here in 2017. (Reuters)
The Invictus Games were where Harry and Meghan made their debut as a couple, here in 2017. (Reuters)

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Prince Harry, who was said to be supportive of the documentary as soon as he heard about it, praised the Games for showing people with disabilities what they could achieve.

He said: “To see individuals like that going on to achieve what they achieve, no amount of books that you read, teaching in class that you have is going to give you that same inspiration as watching something which you have been told is impossible.”

According to Netflix, Rising Phoenix ‘tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games.

‘From the rubble of World War II to the third biggest sporting event on the planet, the Paralympics sparked a global movement which continues to change the way the world thinks about disability, diversity & human potential.’

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Harry set up the Invictus Games in 2014, after being inspired by the Warrior Games in the US, which is a similar initiative.

The 2020 games were due to be held in The Hague, The Netherlands, in May, but had to be postponed until 2021.

The 2020 Paralympics were also delayed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When the trailer was released, a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said: “The Duke is proud to have been one of the people who contributed to this film, which is a unique and powerful documentary that hopes to change the way people view disability – and tell the incredible story of the Paralympics.”

Rising Phoenix is available on Netflix.