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Prince Harry already has grand visions for the Warrior Games. He said he wanted to bring them to Britain and make them an event every bit as popular as the Paralympic Games, which drew huge crowds in London last summer.
"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," he said, according to media reports.
The Paralympics, after all, began in much the same way, as wounded veterans returning to Britain after World War II were encouraged to take part in sport as a means of therapy and building self-esteem. Now that the Paralympics – like the Olympics themselves – have become an enormous international event, the original intent has been eclipsed somewhat. That created an opening for the establishment of the Warrior Games in 2010.
As a creation of the US paralympic movement, the Warrior Games started as an event only for the American armed forces, in which each service competed against the other. Last year was the first year that British troops were involved. This year, participants from Canada and Australia will also compete. In all, there are seven sports: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting-volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.
On Friday, Prince Harry visited Arlington National Cemetery and met wounded veterans at Walter Reed military medical center. He also joined Michelle Obama at a White House reception honoring America's military mothers.