US and Canada

Prince Harry starts off Warrior Games event in US

Prince Harry
Image caption Prince Harry wished competitors in the hand-cycle event good luck

Prince Harry has started the first event of the Warrior Games for injured service personnel, being held in Colorado, US.

He set off competitors in the hand-cycle event on Sunday at the US Air Force Training Academy.

"There's no reason why the Warrior Games shouldn't be recognised... with the same amount of attention as the Olympics and Paralympics," he said.

Harry later joined cadets for an American Football training session.

Earlier in the day the prince met members of the 35-strong British team taking part in the Warrior Games.

The prince, who is on a trip to the US to promote various charities, has said he hopes to bring the Games to the UK.

He gestured to the large number of broadcasters, photographers and journalists at the event and said: "You've got all these guys here - it's not always great having them around - but today it's fantastic to get the message across to every other country that has eyes on here at the moment."

Image caption Harry joined the cheerleaders at the American football training session

Martin Colclough, head of physical recovery for military charity Help For Heroes, which has funded the British team's participation, said morale in the squad was "incredibly high" because of Harry's presence.

"A colleague and a peer coming along and supporting your team - I don't think you can measure how much that would have added to the effort the guys are going to put in today."

The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is one of two sites being used to stage the Games.

Instructed by Troy Calhoun, head football coach at the academy, Harry played at being a quarterback on an indoor gridiron pitch.

He also watched a display of gymnastics by the cheerleaders for the US Air Force Academy's Falcons gridiron team - and agreed to help form a three-tier pyramid topped by a man dressed as the team's bird mascot.

Harry was joined in the apex by cheerleaders, players and Major General Buster Howse, Britain's most senior military officer in the US.

He was also given a Falcons shirt with "Wales" on the back.

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