Excitement building over Prince Harry visit to Warrior Games

princeLast year, it was the First Lady; this year it’s a prince who will attend the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

The United States Olympic Committee confirmed Monday that Britain’s Prince Harry will attend the fourth-annual Warrior Games in the Springs.

“We are excited that Prince Harry will be attending the fourth annual Warrior Games presented by Deloitte,” said Charlie Huebner, USOC chief of paralympics. “The United States Olympic Committee and the Royal Foundation have been working together since last year on our shared mission to develop sustainable community programs in both the U.S. and the U.K. for people with physical disabilities, including our wounded veterans and service members.¬†Prince Harry is personally committed to help expand these programs, and we are honored to have him participate in the event.”

Last year, First Lady Michelle Obama was on hand to kick off the 2012 games. This year, the Warrior Games will be from May 11 to 16 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and U.S. Air Force Academy.

Officials are expecting about 260 wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans to compete in seven sports over the six-day competition. Five U.S. teams will compete, with athletes representing each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as a sixth team from the United Kingdom – the British Armed Forces.

U.S. Paralympics is seeking volunteers to assist with the games. So far, about 200 people have applied to volunteer. Officials expect they will need about 300 volunteers for the length of the games to assist with venue management, officiating, score keeping, medal ceremonies, stocking hydration stations, among many other responsibilities.

The games started in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports for injured service members and veterans.

Since then, the competition has become a springboard for many service members and veterans to keep playing sports in their communities. Medical treatment facilities, Warrior Transition Units and Wounded Warrior Battalions East have seen a 20 percent increase in sports program participation by wounded, ill and injured service members.

The competition, which will be hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee, is also supported by the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, USO, Fisher House Foundation, AT&T, BP, Budweiser and the Semper Fi Fund.

In 2012, the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and the USOC formed a partnership focused on providing physical activity for wounded warriors and persons with physical disabilities in the United Kingdom and United States.

This included inviting a United Kingdom team of wounded warriors to participate alongside U.S. service members at the USOC hosted Warrior Games; Prince Harry, Dr. Jill Biden and Ambassador Peter Westmacott hosting members of the 2012 Warrior Games team at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.; and the co-hosting of a Paralympic legacy event during the London Paralympic Games to raise funds for the development of ongoing physical activity programs for wounded warriors and youth with physical disabilities.

The Endeavour Fund of The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is focused on inspiring w0ounded servicemen and women to explore new physical challenges as part of their recovery; rebuilding their confidence and looking forward with optimism to the next chapter of their lives.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the 2013 Warrior Games can apply online.
Historically, the volunteer positions have been very popular for this event, so a position cannot be guaranteed to everyone who registers. Those who are selected will be
notified by April 15.