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How one Aussie veteran nearly brought Prince Harry to tears

Michaela Gilewicz (R) meets Prince Harry
Michaela Gilewicz (R) meets Prince Harry at the Invictus Games. Photo: Defence: Corporal Mark Doran/ABC
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The emotion of representing Australia at the Invictus Games has been too much for one young veteran who almost had Prince Harry in tears.

Michaela Gilewicz from Tasmania is in Toronto competing at the event for wounded, injured and sick armed service personnel and veterans.

“Everyone keeps telling me they saw me crying,” she told ABC Radio Hobart.

“Just before we walked out I had a bit of a panic attack … as I was walking out I was just trying to get through it and everyone thought that was a very lovely moment.

“It felt a little bit embarrassing the next day walking down the street with people recognising me, but I got through it and that’s the main thing.”

Ms Gilewicz said the touching moment had gained the interest of media outlets, but she never expected to have moved the British prince.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet Prince Harry,” she said.

“I was waiting in the area for the powerlifting … and he came up and tapped me on the shoulder, shook my hand and said: ‘I’ve got something to tell you’.

“I’m like, oh no, it’s the same story everyone’s been telling me.

“He saw me tearing up and he said: ‘I had to look away because we were live to air on the BBC and you nearly set me off’. I was like, ‘oh my God, this is the best moment of my life’.”

This is the first Invictus Games for Ms Gilewicz competing in the powerlifting and indoor rowing events.

Michaela Gilewicz at the powerlifting
Michaela Gilewicz competing in the powerlifting just after meeting Prince Harry. Photo: Defence: Corporal Mark Doran/ABC

She was discharged from the military following a shoulder injury and has also since struggled with depression and anxiety.

“I’m here not just for physical rehabilitation but for mental health as well,” she said.

“I haven’t been a part of the team since I left the Army … and I didn’t realise how much I missed that environment until I got here.

“Everyone is going through their own struggles and trials and we’re all just here watching each other get through it.”

-ABC