The royal made the bet with his friend, Air Force Master Sergeant Israel “D.T.” Del Toro, at the wheelchair volleyball finals during Harry’s Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday.
“We were sitting in the stands just talking, BS’ing, and I said, ‘We should bet on the game,’ ” Del Toro told PEOPLE Wednesday during a practice for Wednesday’s Jaguar Land Rover Wheelchair Rugby Exhibition Match.
“He stands up and busts out a $20 bill! I’m like, first off, surprised he actually carries money! So we had a friendly wager. And of course he ducked out after the game so I couldn’t collect!” (The U.S. beat the U.K. to take gold.)
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But Del Toro, who was badly burned by an IED in Afghanistan in 2005 and later became the first fully disabled airman ever to re-enlist, quickly came up with a plan involving Cena, who is coaching the Land Rover team in tonight’s exhibition match. (Wilmer Valderrama is coach of the opposing Jaguar team.)
Prince Harry Brings Invictus Games to Orlando
“I acquired John Cena to be my collector,” says Del Toro, 41, who took gold in yesterday’s shot put event and delivered powerful remarks at the Games’ opening ceremonies. “I told him, ‘I don’t want Prince Harry to give me my money through a handler. I want to see the shame in his face when he hands me my $20!’ ”
Says Cena: “I’m gonna let [Prince Harry] know the interest is running.”
Cena, whose FOX series American Grit highlights veterans, says of his longtime involvement with the troops, “I am very grateful for the freedoms of the United States of America and I’m very grateful for the men and women who defend those freedoms.”