Melania Trump announced Thursday that this fall she will make her first solo foreign trip as first lady.
A White House statement announced that the first lady will lead the U.S. delegation to this year’s Invictus Games, which will be held in Toronto from Sept. 23 through Sept. 30.
The Invictus Games, started in 2014 by Britain’s Prince Harry, are open to men and women who were part of their nations’ armed forces and were injured in combat.
The games will feature about 550 men and women from 17 nations competing in para-Olympic style activities, such as swimming, cycling, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 27, 2017
“In just two short years, the Invictus Games have allowed thousands of injured and wounded servicemen and women from many different countries to participate in adaptive sports competitions — something that should be lauded and supported worldwide. I am honored by the opportunity to represent our country at this year’s games,” Melania Trump said.
“I was heartened by the great success of the inaugural Invictus Games that took place in London in 2015, and the second games in Orlando, Florida, last year,” she said.
This will be Melania Trump’s first solo foreign appearance as first lady, although she has traveled with her husband, President Donald Trump, on trips to the Middle East and Europe.
The former model is making her first international solo trip earlier than her predecessor. Former first lady Michelle Obama made her first solo foreign trip, to Mexico, after 15 months as first lady.
Melania Trump has participated in many events with a focus on veterans and military families.
In April, she accompanied the president to Walter Reed Hospital, where they spoke to wounded veterans.
On Mother’s Day, she spoke to the mothers and spouses of service members during a White House event.
“I, too, am a mother. However, I have no idea what kind of different challenges each of you must face as the parent of a soldier. And while you stand with many other parents so strong and so proud, I am sure that you sometimes march on this journey alone,” she said.
“While your sons and daughters are away serving so selflessly, having a community share even some of that burden must make all the difference in the world. I want you to know you’re among that community today and we are all so proud to be part of it with you. I also want to say thank you for all that you do for your selflessness and for your own sacrifice on behalf of our country,” she said.
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