Swimmer Gives Prince Harry Gold Medal, With a Request

She wants it delivered to hospital staff who saved her life
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2016 6:03 AM CDT
Swimmer Gives Prince Harry Gold Medal, With a Request
Elizabeth Marks heads to a gold medal victory in the women's 100-meter LC freestyle ISB race.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Prince Harry handed Team USA swimmer Elizabeth Marks her fourth gold medal at the Invictus Games for wounded soldiers on Wednesday. Seconds later, she handed it back—with a request to deliver it to a UK hospital. Marks was in London ahead of the 2014 Invictus Games when the 25-year-old Army staff sergeant from Arizona collapsed from respiratory distress syndrome, reports E! She spent two weeks on life support at a London hospital and was treated by experts from Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, she tells the Telegraph. "They absolutely saved my life and I can't thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me," Marks says. "So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth."

Though she says she'll "never be able to repay" her doctors, a gold medal is a good start. Marks—who has no feeling in her left leg after a 2010 hip injury—won gold in each event she entered at the games: the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, and 100-meter freestyle. She's ranked first in the world at the latter event, according to the International Paralympic Committee, and hopes to attend the Paralympics in Rio this summer, reports ABC News. Perhaps Harry will be in attendance—but he'll have to get past John Cena first. The pro wrestler is standing in as collector after the royal lost a $20 bet with an Invictus competitor over the wheelchair volleyball finals, reports People. "The interest is running," Cena says. (Harry just wants to make his mom proud.)

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