COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - MAY 12: Prince Harry speaks to competitors as he attends the US airforce training academy hand cycling event at the Warrior Games during the fourth day of his visit to the United States on May 12, 2013 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. HRH will be undertaking engagements on behalf of charities with which the Prince is closely associated on behalf also of HM Government, with a central theme of supporting injured service personnel from the UK and US forces. (Photo by Chris Jack
Colorado Springs, Co. (USA TODAY) -- Prince Harry attends the Warrior Games in Colorado to cheer wounded warrior athletes in general and the British team in particular.
And they were off! Prince Harry started the hand cycling race today at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, during the fourth day of his U.S. visit.
Harry, the warrior royal, is in Colorado this weekend for the Warrior Games, a Paralympics-style event for wounded service personnel. He's cheering wounded-warrior athletes in general, and the British team in particular.
It was hot and sunny at the U.S. Air Force Training Academy in Colorado Springs, where the hand cycling race took place. Harry, dressed in a white polo shirt and dark jeans, greeted the competitors before the race, then blew the horn for the start.
It was another demonstration of Harry's instinct to be fully engaged in whatever he's doing, as he was Saturday for the start of the games. He joined the British team in practice sessions and competition in sitting volleyball, at one point falling flat on his face trying to reach a ball.
Yet it was for a good cause: "Thank you Prince Harry for changing people's lives & making a difference. A True honor to have met u," tweeted Misty May-Treanor, a Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball, who played against him in sitting volleyball Saturday and presented him with a Union-Jack-emblazoned shirt.
The athletic 28-year-old third-in-line to the throne, who is a captain in the British Army, has been meeting with members of the U.K. team, chatting, joking and encouraging. The Associated Press reported that the athletes who met him found Harry easy to talk to, and that he was especially interested in their recovery and health care.
"He knows what it's like out there," said British Army Capt. Dave Henson, who lost both legs when an IED exploded in Afghanistan two years ago and is on the volleyball team. "(Harry's) been on the ground and in the air."
Harry, who served two tours in Afghanistan, also has worn his Army fatigues and desert boots, topped with his Union Jack T-shirt, as well as more formal suit and tie at various appearances since he arrived in the USA Friday evening.
He has attended a reception and a brunch, cheered the British team, and was one of the stars at the Opening Ceremony. Along with Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin, he helped Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder, a swimmer in the competition who was blinded by an IED in Afghanistan, to light an Olympic-style cauldron to launch the games on Saturday.
And after the competitions, E! Online reported Harry went to a British-style pub Saturday evening for a private party with about 40 people.
More than 200 athletes, men and women, serving and veteran, are participating in the 2013 Warrior Games. There are five American teams (Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, and Special Operations). The U.K. team is competing at the games for the second year.
The competitions cover seven sports: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.
Next week, Harry heads to New Jersey to tour Hurricane Sandy damage, to New York to promote tourism to Britain, play baseball and attend a charity fundraising gala, and to Connecticut for a polo match to raise money for his African children's charity.
Harry started off his visit in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, where he appeared on Capitol Hill, turned up for a surprise visit to a White House party for military families, and attended a glittery dinner at the British Embassy.
On Friday, he laid wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery and met with wounded veterans at the Walter Reed military medical center. Saturday night, he attended a reception in Denver where he met Franklin and sang Happy Birthday to the ning swimmer, who turned 18 on Friday.