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Prince Harry draws hundreds to Warrior Games cycling competition

May 13, 2013 Updated: May 13, 2013 at 11:17 am
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photo - Prince Harry yells to start the men's handcycle race at the Warrior Games after his air horn failed to make a sound Sunday, May 12, 2013 at the Air Force Academy.. Prince Harry spent his last day in Colorado with thousands of spectators to cheer on wounded warriors from all branches of the US military, including a team from Britain. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette
Prince Harry yells to start the men's handcycle race at the Warrior Games after his air horn failed to make a sound Sunday, May 12, 2013 at the Air Force Academy.. Prince Harry spent his last day in Colorado with thousands of spectators to cheer on wounded warriors from all branches of the US military, including a team from Britain. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette 

The best Mother's Day gift for Terri Faulkner of Greeley was watching her teenage daughter Rachel near British Prince Harry.

'Good Lord Almighty, ' Terri said. 'It's fun to see her so excited. I am letting her have this day because she has been talking about this for weeks. '

Rachel was one of a couple hundred people who crowded the barriers near the start of Sunday's cycling competition at the Warrior Games at Falcon Stadium.

Clad in a T-shirt bearing the British flag, the teen was busily snapping pictures and yelling whenever Harry, considered one of the world's most eligible bachelors, looked in her general vicinity while he greeted competitors a few feet away.

Her excitement and T-shirt drew the attention of Australian and German TV crews, who interviewed her.

'It's pretty exciting, ' she said. 'He's the single one so he's the royal I can crush on. '

She wasn't the only one.

'I am definitely here to see Prince Harry, but not in a creepy way, ' Ellen Barlow of Denver said. 'It's unusual to get a chance to see someone like him in Colorado. '

Prince Harry's presence doubled the number of media credentials requested to 400 and also drew TV networks from Britain and Al-Jazeera.

'Publicity for the Warrior Games and Colorado Springs can only be a good thing, ' Dick Cooper of Palmer Lake said.

Many said it was equally important to remember the event is part of the ongoing recovery for 260 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.

'It's great that he's here and to actually get to see him is cool, ' said Special Operations Command cyclist Sammy Lugo, who competed in his third Warrior Games.

'But we have to remember this is about us coming together and showing what we can do. If Prince Harry spreads the word, that's good. '

The prince's only public appearance in Colorado Springs certainly drew attention.

'It has to help, ' Sara Kerlin of Westminster said. 'It brings a lot of attention to the Warrior Games for folks who may not have heard of it. '

And those loud cheers at the start were for Prince Harry or the athletes?

Undoubtedly both.

'I think some of us are pretty good-looking, ' retired Army Sgt. Chad McDuffee said. 'But of course, I am not a prince. '

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