Prince Harry: We Stole American Warrior Games Idea

Image: Prince Harry plays sitting volleyball at the launch of the Invictus Games
Prince Harry plays sitting Volley Ball as he takes part in a match at the media launch for the Invictus Games 2014 at the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park on March 6, in London. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

LONDON -- Prince Harry joked Thursday that a Paralympic-style sporting championship for injured servicemen and women known as the Warrior Games was "such a good idea by the Americans that it had to be stolen."

“When I was in Washington in 2012 I met the small contingent of the U.K. team and hearing the stories that came back from the games really ignited something in me that made me want to broaden this to wider audiences,” he said.

Speaking at the launch of the Invictus Games, a similar competition for British Armed forces, the young royal added that he hoped the competition would "have a long-lasting impact" on those who fought for their country.

“Why do we need to do it?” he asked the audience at the Copper Box arena in London’s Olympic Park. “Well, to demonstrate the power of sports, to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and to demonstrate life beyond disability, and it really is as simple as that.”

"I have witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery,” he added.

Around 300 wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women from 13 nations will compete in eight adaptive sports after they open in London in September, organizers said.

Sports including athletics, swimming, archery and wheelchair basketball and rugby will take place in venues built for the 2012 London Olympic Games.