The king of Norway gave a beautiful speech on LGBTQ people and immigrants.

This is Harald V, the 79-year-old King of Norway.

Photo by Lise Aserud/AFP/Getty Images.

He's done a lot in his eight decades on this Earth.


For example, Harald V competed in the Olympics in the 1960s — twice.

His devotion to Team Norway hasn't faltered since.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

He beat cancer over a decade ago.

And he's still going strong.

Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten/AFP/Getty Images.

In 2015, he became the first ever reigning monarch to visit Antarctica.

How many septuagenarians can say they did that?

Photo by Tore Meek/AFP/Getty Images.

But a surprising addition to his ever-growing list of big achievements was added this week after a speech he gave to guests in Oslo about equality.

Speeches from Norwegian leaders may not always make waves around the world. But Harald V's words about his country's LGBTQ community — as well as its immigrants and refugees — quickly went viral for all the right reasons.

The king boldly and beautifully pointed out that his country is at its greatest when it cares for all of its people.

"Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and boys and girls who love each other," the king declared outside his palace.

"Norwegians believe in God, Allah, everything, and nothing."

Harald V meets with Malala Yousafzai in 2014. Photo by Heiko Junge/AFP/Getty Images.

"Norwegians are also immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Somalia, and Syria," he said.

"It is not always easy to say where we come from, to which nationality we belong. Home is where the heart is. That cannot always be placed within country borders."

Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images.

The king's speech, which you can watch below, is powerful at face value. But it's especially so given our current global political climate.

Anti-immigrant sentiment — particularly toward Muslims — is on the rise across many Western countries. Many have pointed to Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, the game-changing Brexit vote, and the popularity of France's far-right Marine Le Pen as proof of this disturbing reality.

Just this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's pro-immigrant party suffered blows from anti-Muslim candidates in regional elections.

Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/Pool/Getty Images.

That's why it's not just refreshing to hear a leader speak boldly about the importance of inclusion — it's vital in batting down bigotry.

While Norway has often championed LGBTQ rights and is viewed as a progressive leader on the world stage, anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise there too in recent years. The king's compassionate speech is being heralded as a means to combat that hate.

Harald V may also have had his nation's economy in mind giving this speech: Research suggests that when countries are more open to cultural diversity and prioritize inclusivity, it leads to better economic growth.

Combating hate isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do.

"You are Norway," Harald V  said. "We are Norway."

"My biggest hope for Norway is that we will manage to take care of each other, that we can build this country further on trust, solidarity, and generosity."

Photo by Ian Stewart/AFP/Getty Images.

Watch Harald V's entire speech below:

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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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