Prince Harry Is 'Like a Brother,' Says Invictus Athlete, Shares Their Special Hawaii Scuba Trip (Exclusive)

"Once he hit the water, it was like I had another buddy," athlete Gabriel George exclusively tells PEOPLE of scuba diving with Prince Harry

Gabriel “Gabe” George’s participation in the latest Invictus Games sparked many new connections — including with Prince Harry.

George, 37, competed for Team USA at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands last year and is among the athletes cameras followed for the new limited series Heart of Invictus, which debuted on Netflix on Wednesday.

The medically retired Navy Corpsman, whose right arm was paralyzed in a 2008 motorcycle accident (later leading to an amputation), exclusively tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue that he instantly clicked with Harry when they met at the Games in The Hague.

“Every conversation that I've had with him has been just like I'm talking to a friend, a brother, maybe because of the military connection that we have,” George tells PEOPLE of connecting with the Duke of Sussex. “We share where we just left off. The conversation just continues to go on.”

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Gabriel George in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix

Gabriel George in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Related: Prince Harry Will Return to U.K. for Special Reason Next Month Ahead of Invictus Games

Prince Harry, 38, served in the British Army for a decade, rising to the rank of captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. He launched the Invictus Games in 2014 after being inspired by the Warrior Games in the U.S. The international adaptive sports competition for injured, sick and wounded service personnel and veterans aims to amplify the transformative power of sport for those who have served.

George made his mark at the latest Invictus Games in archery, swimming and rowing, and meeting Harry there (spoiler alert!) led to a scuba dive together in Hawaii in November 2022. Diving is uniquely therapeutic for George’s chronic shoulder pain, as the plunge provides relief and release.

"I got to talk a lot about that with Harry. He was able to understand and to relate,” George tells PEOPLE.

“Once he hit the water, it was like I had another buddy. Swimming around, having a good time. You could see the smiles through the bubbles and all that stuff,” he says of the adventure with the Duke of Sussex.

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Gabriel George and Prince Harry scuba diving in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix

Gabriel George and Prince Harry scuba diving in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Related: Incredible Photos and Inspiring Stories from the Athletes of the 2022 Invictus Games

George says participating in the Invictus Games “added a lot of fuel to my life” and furthered his fire for training others in adaptive sports.

“Pickleball is my number one sport right now, and I love to share that. It gave me that fire to let me know that this is still what I want to do,” he tells PEOPLE. “And for people that I've met that have never competed, have never tried any kind of sport or may have injuries or illness, when I just bring [pickleball] with me somewhere and introduce it, you can see the life come back into them. That is like I'm giving them a piece of Invictus.”

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Gabriel George (second from left) and Team USA in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix

Gabriel George (second from left) and Team USA in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Heart of Invictus comes from Archewell Productions, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s production hub, in partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation. The five-episode series was helmed by director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara, an Academy Award-winning duo, and Prince Harry served as an executive producer.

The doc hits queues before the 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany, set to run from Sept. 9 to 16. The event will be the tournament’s sixth iteration, following games in London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017), Sydney (2018) and The Hague (2022). In 2025, the Games will return to North America to be held in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada.

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<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Prince Harry (center) in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

Courtesy of Netflix

Prince Harry (center) in 'Heart of Invictus' on Netflix.

In conversation with PEOPLE last year, Prince Harry credited the Invictus community as “a major part of my growth and learning.”

“Creating the Games involved listening to military and veteran families — and hearing directly from them about their lives — and that offered so much perspective. It’s been a lesson in serving a purpose greater than ourselves, and the benefit that comes from that extends to both the individual and the community,” the Duke of Sussex previously told PEOPLE. “I truly believe that we are at our best when we’re in service to others, and Invictus is all about upholding that value.”

Heart of Invictus is now streaming on Netflix.

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Read the original article on People.