After months of training — including spending the night in a freezer
— Prince Harry and British veterans from the organization Walking with the Wounded are only days away from competing in The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge
. The challenge, which also features teams from the United States, Australia, and Canada, was created to raise funds and awareness for groups involved in helping wounded military veterans.
"This trip is another way of reminding everybody that, as Afghanistan draws down, and these (wounded vets) aren't in the news any more, is to remind everybody that support must continue," Harry said at a press conference yesterday. "Arms and legs don't grow back and the support we need to give them will need to continue for the rest of their lives."
The participating teams will face treacherous conditions during the 200-mile trek to the South Pole. And all, including wounded veterans with missing limbs or blindness, are determined to finish strong.
"The world we live in is not made for people with disabilities," said Ivan Castro, a blind member of the American team
. "This is part of what we're trying to do, trying to break that wall, that stereotype, and show the world what we can do given the right resources, training and opportunities."
Prince Harry and Walking with the Wounded will depart for Antarctica later this weekend, with the goal of arriving at the South Pole on Dec. 17. Besides royalty, the challenge will also feature a dose of Hollywood, with actors Dominic West of "The Wire" and Alexander Skarsgard of "True Blood" taking part.
"I'm very excited to meet him. I'll be with my U.S. teammates at the South Pole welcoming him," the "True Blood" star said of meeting Prince Harry. "I'll be happy to see him when he arrives. We will be there first though!"
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