Prince Harry hails the 'power of sport' in Netflix documentary about the Paralympics

Victoria Ward
·2-min read
Prince Harry discusses the Paralympics - Netflix
Prince Harry discusses the Paralympics - Netflix

The Duke of Sussex will feature in a new Netflix documentary charting the history of the Paralympics, as he says the power of sport can “bring you back from the darkest places.”

Rising Phoenix, which is released later this month, will tell the story of the Paralympic Games, “from the rubble of World War II to the third biggest sporting event on the planet.”

The Duke has supported the film from the moment it was first pitched as an idea eight years ago. The project was a battle to get off the ground, with industry executives rejecting the idea until Netflix came on board.

“They loved the idea and its power,” producer Greg Nugent has said. “They were brave.

The event boasts many parallels to the Invictus Games, the competition for injured servicemen and women and veterans that Prince Harry founded in 2014.

In a trailer released by Netflix on Thursday, he said: “There isn't anything else in the world that can bring you back from the darkest places, than sport.”

Filmed chatting on a sofa in a studio, he added: “Yes, lives have been changed on the track but lives are also being changed on the stands.”

Jonnie Peacock - Matt Horan
Jonnie Peacock - Matt Horan

His involvement follows that of his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who provided the voiceover for a Disney film earlier this year in return for a donation to Elephants Without Borders.

Prince Harry also took on an executive producer role for a forthcoming mental health series he co-created with Oprah Winfrey, the chat show star, for Apple television.

The couple have indicated that they intend to carve out a new career by, in part, producing documentaries on their key issues such as conservation, female empowerment and mental health.

Rising Phoenix is the brainchild of Mr Nugent, marketing director of the 2012 Games.

“The Paralympics were incredible, better than the Olympics in so many ways,” he has said.

“I thought if the story could be made into a film it would be the most extraordinary tale of courage, bravery and brilliance. All the things that are often missing in the perceptions of disability.”

The film will feature several athletes, including the UK’s Jonnie Peacock, Italian Fencer Bepe Vio, French runner Jean-Baptiste Aliaze and world champion archer Matt Stutzman.

A spokesperson for the Duke 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.”