Prince Edward may attend 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver
Last Updated: Thursday, June 4, 2009 | 4:33 PM PT
The Canadian Press
His mother is still considering her Olympic invitation, but Prince Edward says he's hoping to attend to the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.
Edward, 45, the Queen's third son and seventh in line for the British throne, met with Canadian sledgehockey players Thursday at an arena that has been completely rebuilt for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Queen hasn't said whether she will accept an invitation from Ottawa to open the 2010 Winter Games, but members of Canada's sledgehockey extended their own invitation to her son.
"We did," said Todd Nicholson, who's been competing for two decades, when asked whether he invited the prince back to Vancouver for 2010.
"They're hoping to come back actually for the Paralympics to watch some of the sledgehockey and stuff. He was hoping to be able to make an appearance."
The Vancouver Olympic organizing committee asked the Canadian government to invite the Queen, who opened the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal.
If she declines, that job will likely fall to Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean. In 1988, governor general Jeanne Sauvé opened the Calgary Winter Olympics.
Tours UBC arena
On Thursday, Prince Edward toured the University of British Columbia's Thunderbird Arena with B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee, and Gary Lunn, federal minister of state for sport.
The prince walked on to the ice and watched the Canadian sledge hockey team and other younger players practise before waving them over to chat.
The players gave the prince, who is the Earl of Wessex, three jerseys — one for him and each of his two children. The red-and-white jerseys had the word "Wessex" emblazoned on the back.
Kurtis Williams, 13, a sledgehockey player from Surrey, B.C., said he was nervous to meet a member of the Royal Family, but not for long.
"It was cool to meet somebody that's really famous," Williams said. "He was a nice guy."
Gives out awards
Before visiting the arena, Edward handed out the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards at a downtown Vancouver hotel.
The awards were started in the 1950s by Edward's father, Prince Philip, and Edward often visits Canada to hand them out.
Recipients pass through bronze, silver and gold levels by completing public service, personal and physical achievements and going on expeditions.
Edward spent nearly an hour chatting with more than 100 recipients and their families.
One of those award winners, Brandon Lewis, 21, said the visit brought the royal family closer to home.
"We don't get to see the Royal Family in Canada," he said after the ceremony. "So to have him come over and present it, it's quite the honour."
On Friday, Edward was scheduled to hand out more awards at the provincial legislature in Victoria before attending a naval mast dedication ceremony in Vancouver's Stanley Park to launch celebrations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this country's navy.
The prince was scheduled to be in Edmonton on the weekend.
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- Retired police officer killed in Mexico remembered as animal lover
- A CFL player says a Vancouver woman killed in Mexico earlier this week will be remembered as a loving and generous person who loved animals. more »
- Body found inside burning van in East Vancouver
- Police are investigating after a man's body was found inside a burning van in East Vancouver Saturday morning. more »
- Protesters march against GMO giant Monsanto in 430 cities
- Marches and rallies against seed giant Monsanto were held across Canada, the U.S. and in dozens of other countries Saturday. more »
- Hundreds come out for Abbotsford's first pride march
- About two hundred people came out on Saturday for the first ever Fraser Valley Pride parade in Abbotsford, B.C., a city with deep religious roots. more »
Top News Headlines
- Toronto mayor's brother says he never dealt drugs
- The brother of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has vehemently denied allegations in Saturday's Globe and Mail that he was involved in the illicit drug trade in the 1980s. more »
- Hockey Canada votes to ban bodychecking in peewee hockey
- Hockey Canada's board of directors voted to eliminate bodychecking from peewee-level hockey on Saturday in Charlottetown. more »
- Neil Macdonald: How serious is Obama about curbing the drone surge?
- In a key speech this week, the U.S. president set out a host of supposed new safeguards for America's controversial practice of remote-controlled rough justice. But as Neil Macdonald writes, the underlying rationale for drone use has not fundamentally changed. more »
- Ontario man lost in Australian mountains has survival skills
- The sister of an Ontario man who disappeared in Australia's Snowy Mountains nearly two weeks ago says she remains hopeful he will be found, partly because of his training as a Canadian Forces reservist. more »
- McDonald's CEO chastised by 9-year-old B.C. girl
- Dog snared on baited hooks near Vancouver's Grouse Grind trail
- UBC student took 'nose dive into water' after bridge collapse
- Motorists warned to avoid Washington bridge collapse area
- Body found inside burning van in East Vancouver
- Vancouver man abandons Porsche on B.C. ferry
- VIDEO: Cruise ship chaos kicks off season in Vancouver
- Railway conduit planned to ship oilsands bitumen
- Washington police blame bridge collapse on Alberta trucker