Prince Harry brings spotlight to veteran Warrior Games

Prince Harry speaks to competitors as he attends the US airforce training academy hand cycling event at the Warrior Games during the fourth day of his visit to the United States on May 12, 2013 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

(CBS News) The wounded veterans competing in this weekend's warrior games in Colorado are getting extra encouragement: Prince Harry is there, cheering them on -- and also taking part.

Prince Harry's second day with athletes at the Warrior Games included handshakes and positive words.

"You've got the Olympics, you've got the Paralympics. There's no reason the Warrior Games shouldn't be recognized worldwide," he said.

Prince Harry to cheer on wounded vets at Warrior Games
Watch: Prince Harry's trip is all work and no play

The first batch of racers got a royal start.

"Racers ready?" Harry began.

As did the second, though slightly less dignified: The air horn failed.

This cycling competition includes wounded veterans from all branches of the military, including British service members. Two-hundred-sixty veterans are competing at this year's games.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Kirstie Ennis is one of them. She's still recovering from severe injuries after a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Ennis served there at the same time Prince Harry did and knows his presence here shines a spotlight.

"It means a lot to all of us ... it's raising awareness all over," she said. "Our hometowns, all over the world."

These worldwide headlines are much different from previous ones. Last year, photographs of the prince's wild Las Vegas weekend became public. This year, the royal family made sure Harry brought restraint and a purpose: Honoring military service.

But the prince is still having fun. Here in Colorado he played football, even joining a post-game pyramid. And during a game of floor volleyball, he managed to spike the ball on Misty May-Treanor, a three-time U.S. Olympic volleyball champion.

Prince Harry's final official duty here at the Warrior Games was handing out the first medals. His next public appearance is on Tuesday, when he will be in New Jersey to tour the damage from Superstorm Sandy.