Prince Harry and US First Lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to wounded war veterans at the dazzling opening ceremony of the Invictus Games at Disney World Florida.

Conceived as the only international adaptive sporting event for injured active and veteran service men and women, and founded by Prince Harry, the inaugural Invictus Games took place in London in 2014.

The games aim to use the power of sport to aid recovery and support rehabilitation, as well as honour the sacrifice made by those who have experienced life-limiting injuries whilst serving their country. Almost 500 athletes from 14 different countries will compete over the next four days in 11 Paralympic sports.

The two-hour opening ceremony was attended by former US President George W Bush, the honourary chairman of this year's games, and the Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman led the crowd in reciting the Invictus Games pledge.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prince Harry said it was important to recognise the emotional traumas the competitors had overcome to make it to the games.

"When we give a standing ovation to the competitor with the missing limbs, so let's cheer our hearts out for the man who overcame anxiety so severe he couldn't leave his home," he said.

The name Invictus comes from the Latin word for "unconquered". Plans are already underway for next year's games which are due to take place in Toronto, Canada.