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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the First Lady at the 2016 Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

ESPN Worldwide Sports Center
Orlando, Florida

10:03 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, hello everyone!  (Applause.)  Are we having fun tonight?  (Applause.)  Well, it is truly an honor to be here tonight to help kick off this year’s Invictus Games.

I, of course, want to start by thanking Prince Harry for his outstanding leadership and for bringing the Invictus Games here to Orlando.  He is truly our Prince Charming, isn’t he?  (Applause.)  And he should be proud of himself for this work.

Now, in return, I have generously asked the U.S. Team not to win too much, right?  (Laughter.)  It’s really the least we can do, right?  (Laughter.)  But seriously, I have loved getting to know Prince Harry and his remarkable family.  And I am thrilled to join him here tonight with all of you.

I also want to recognize a devoted advocate for our men and women in uniform -- the Honorary Chair of these Games, and our friend, former President George W. Bush, and our fabulous former First Lady, Laura Bush.  (Applause.)  And of course, I want to thank Ken Fisher and his family for their tremendous support of this event, but more importantly, for their tireless commitment over many years to our military community.  Ken, you're amazing. (Applause.)

But most of all, I'm here to honor all of you -- our extraordinary servicemembers, our veterans and, of course, our military families.  You all are amazing.  (Applause.)  Truly amazing.

Over the past five years, through our Joining Forces initiative, I've had the privilege of meeting so many of you.  And like Prince Harry, I am so incredibly inspired by all of you.  I’m inspired by your courage, by your love of country.  I’m inspired by the sacrifices you all make every single day, particularly the wounded warriors and the caregivers who show such strength and resilience in the face of challenges that most of us can’t even imagine.

In the course of your recoveries, you’ve endured surgery after surgery, and months, even years of painstaking rehabilitation.  And you still tell us that you would do it all again if you were given the chance to serve your country.  (Applause.)  Absolutely.  And look at you now.  Today, you are here competing in these Games, and you are achieving amazing athletic feats.  It's just -- I'm so proud of you all.

And as for our caregivers, let's give it up for our caregivers.  (Applause.)  I've met so many of you.  We know how you all dropped everything when your loved one was injured; how you stepped up to manage all the appointments and the medication, and all the finances, often juggling a job and raising kids at the same time.

And ultimately, that’s really what the Invictus Games and Joining Forces are all about.  They’re about shining this big, bright light on all of you -- on all of you.  They’re about sharing your stories and your achievements with the world, so that we all can be inspired to live up to your example.

That’s why we’re here tonight.  That's why I'm here tonight.  And that's why I'm so proud of you all.  That's why I love you all so much.  That's why I will keep working for you all as long as I'm alive.  (Applause.)  So I wish you all all the best of luck in your competitions.  And I hope you have a lot of fun along the way.  Have fun!

And now it is now my pleasure to introduce one of our fabulous Invictus Games Ambassadors, a legend of the silver screen and one of my favorite people in the world -- ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Morgan Freeman.  (Applause.)

10:08 P.M. EDT