Prince Harry started the first event of America's Warrior Games on Sunday as a leading Forces charity said it was determined to help the royal bring the championship to Britain.

As Harry set off a group of injured troops in the hand-cycle event he said the sporting spectacle for wounded servicemen and women could be a huge global attraction like the Olympics.

The royal helped launch the Paralympic-style competition yesterday when he joined Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin and blind US Navy Lieutenant Brad Snyder in igniting a large symbolic flame during the Games' opening ceremony.

prince harry in america

Harry speaks to a competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs

Bryn Parry, co-founder of Help For Heroes, which has funded the British team's participation in the Warrior Games, said that with Harry's help an international competition for wounded servicemen could take place in London next year.

Standing on the start line at the US Air Force Training Academy in Colorado Springs the Prince told spectators and the competitors lined up in front of him: "You've got the Olympics, you've got the Paralympics and you've got the Warrior Games, there's no reason why the Warrior Games shouldn't be recognised world wide, with the same amount of attention as the Olympics and Paralympics."

Gesturing to the large number of broadcasters, photographers and journalists the Prince added: "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."

The compere for the race Michael Aisner joked with the royal and told him to phone his grandmother the Queen, as today was Mother's Day in the US.

Harry, who wore sunglasses, a white polo shirt and dark trousers, replied: "Ok, I'll think about it. She's seven hours ahead so it's impossible."

Taking part was Jonathan Le Galloudec, 32, from Westbury, Wiltshire a former corporal from the 4th battalion the Rifles, who only has partial use of his legs after he was shot in the spine in Basra, Iraq in 2007.

He was one of around a dozen competitors taking part in the 10 kilometre hand-cycle race and just before Harry sounded a horn to set them off the royal joked: "Good luck guys, if you see a union shirt coming from behind let him through."

The racers completed a lap of a large circuit around the airforce base with the former British servicemen finishing eighth. Another four British competitors were also competing in various cycle races today.

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  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Claire Edwards from Hull, who is competing during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks to a competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Claire Edwards from Hull, who is competing during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks to a competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry starts the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry starts the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks to a UK competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks to a UK competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks to a UK competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Four

    Prince Harry speaks to a UK competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Three

    Prince Harry plays for the UK team against the USA during a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games, at the United States Olympic Training centre, in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Three

    Prince Harry plays for the UK team against the USA during a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games, at the United States Olympic Training centre, in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Three

    Prince Harry watches a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games, at the United States Olympic Training centre, in Colorado Springs, USA.

  • Prince Harry visit to the United States - Day Three

    Prince Harry plays for the UK team against the USA during a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games, at the United States Olympic Training centre, in Colorado Springs, USA.

In a speech yesterday given ahead of the Warrior Games opening ceremony Harry 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."

Bryn Parry, co-founder of Help For Heroes, said before the start of the cycle race: "If Harry can set up the vision, we can make it happen."

Parry said high-profile events for injured veterans would become "vital" to keep their lifelong need for support in the public eye once Britain pulls out of Afghanistan.

"We've got to keep doing events to elicit pride and support," he said. "We've got to keep these individuals in the public eye even if we have peace."

Martin Colclough, head of physical recovery for Help For Heroes, said that if he was a betting man he would put money on a Warrior Games-style event happening in London in 2014, with US, Australian and other Allied nations taking part.

He said: "For me that would be the goal. We've had it in mind for a while, that we could pull off something like that.

"I would bet on it happening next year. There is considerable momentum coming from various organisations."

He said morale in the British camp 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."