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4th annual Warrior Games begin Saturday

By Scott Harrison
Published On: May 11 2013 07:52:29 PM CDT

KRDO Newschannel 13's Scott Harrison has more from the opening ceremonies of the Warrior Games.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

260 injured veterans and service members from the United States and Great Britain gathered in Colorado Springs for an annual athletic contest.

The Warrior Games will be held through Thursday at the Olympic Training Center and the Air Force Academy.

Britain's Prince Harry helped start the opening ceremony.  He joined Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin and Paralympic gold medal swimmer Brad Snyder in lighting a giant torch.  However, the prince disappointed many in the crowd when he didn't speak to them during the ceremony.

Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, has military ties.  He served two tours of duty as a tank commander in the Afghan War, and later became a helicopter pilot, earning the rank of captain.  He also has been honored for charitable work with wounded soldiers.

Warrior Games participants have recovered or continue recovering from amputations, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The games also attract hundreds of family and friends who come to cheer for the participants.  Janice Ray came from California to support her daughter, who is swimming and cycling while dealing with a traumatic brain injury.

"It's very rewarding," she said of her Games experience.  "They not only take care of the athletes, they take care of all of us.  For my daughter, she found that she's not limited."

Breanna Dill, a Marine from California uses a wheelchair after losing the use of her legs.  This is her first trip to the Games.

"It's helped me progress in my recovery," she said.  "I appreciate that everyone has given so much support for us."

Participants said they also appreciate celebrities like Prince Harry and Franklin taking time to attend the opening ceremony and providing inspiration.

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