Welcome to the Good News Fridays segment! Each week here on Geek Alabama, Good News Fridays will feature something good, wholesome, positive, and overall something great. After a long and stressful week, we all need something good to read or watch on Fridays! Enjoy a heartwarming post below!
In a scene reminiscent of a traditional medal presentation, the athletes took their places on a three-tiered platform and had the gold, silver and bronze medals placed around their necks by Ron Froehlich, honorary life president of the International World Games Association. The event’s theme was “Step Up.”
“Just as athletes from around the world will soon step up to seize their moment of glory, this is Birmingham’s moment to step up on the global stage. Now that the Olympics are over, we are the world’s next big international sports competition,” said Nick Sellers, CEO of The World Games 2022. “We are honored and proud to bring the world here for the first international multisport event with full venues since the pandemic. The world is clamoring to reconnect and we can’t wait to witness history as amazing athletes compete for these medals.”
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said, “These medals will serve as an international symbol of excellence in athleticism and sportsmanship. As the mayor of Birmingham, hosting The World Games in our great city is our medal of honor. There will be many winners during the Games. Birmingham is certainly one of them.”
The World Games 2022 will feature 3,600 elite athletes from more than 100 countries competing for medals in 34 sports. Organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee, the competitions in Birmingham will be the first time The World Games have taken place in the United States since the inaugural edition of the Games in Santa Clara, California, in 1981.
In addition to thousands of athletes, an estimated 500,000 spectators will attend the competitions in softball, flag football, gymnastics, dance sport, sumo wrestling, sport climbing, parkour, drone racing and other sports.
The athletes who modeled the gold, silver and bronze medals during the event all have Alabama connections:
- Jennifer Chandler, an Alabama native who won the gold medal for springboard diving in the 1976 Olympics at age 17.
- Mark Everett, a three-time Olympian and world record-holder who later was head coach of the track and field team at Birmingham-Southern College.
- Bryan Kirkland, an Oneonta native and member of the USA Paralympic gold medal-winning teams in wheelchair rugby in 2000 and 2008, and the bronze medal-winning team in 2004.
The World Games 2022 are July 7-17. To view schedules of the competitions and purchase tickets, visit www.twg2022.com.