Prince Harry accompanies wounded Southampton soldier to open US Warrior Games
9:09am Sunday 12th May 2013
Prince Harry evoked memories of London 2012 today when he helped light the cauldron that started America's Warrior Games for injured servicemen and women.
Harry poignantly accompanied a wounded soldier from Southampton in carrying the Warrior torch before he joined an Olympian and a blinded US Navy Lieutenant in igniting a large symbolic flame.
The Warrior Games will see injured servicemen and women from the US, UK, Canada and Australia compete in Paralympic-style events in Colorado Springs and the Prince said he hoped to bring the event to Britain.
Harry said he believed the spectacle of battle scarred troops competing against each other would attract spectators by the tens of thousands.
In a speech given ahead of the opening ceremony the royal, who was an official ambassador for Britain's athletes at last summer's Olympics and Paralympics, said: "I only hope in the future, the near future we can bring the Warrior Games to Britain and continue to enlarge this fantastic cause.
"I don't see how it wouldn't be possible to fill a stadium with 80,000 people, not to watch Olympics, not to watch Paralympics but to watch wounded servicemen fight it out amongst each other - not on a battlefield but in a stadium."
The opening ceremony was staged in the open-air at the United States Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs and competitors and their family and supporters watched as the torch was carried around them.
When it was passed to Captain Dave Henson Harry walked with the officer who lost both his legs in a blast caused by an improvised explosive device as he cleared a compound in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011.
The prince matched the slow steps of the 28-year-old officer from Southampton, who will compete in the swimming, track and field and volleyball events, before taking the torch from him onto a stage.