Charles Barkley, member of the Basketball Dream Team of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, is supporting The World Games 2022 (7 to 17 July) in Birmingham, Alabama. The local organising committee (BOC) was successful in attracting him for the position of Honorary Co-Chair.
The former NBA star (MVP in 1993 / 23,757 points) will thus become an ambassador for the “largest international sporting event in the south-east since the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta,” as Nick Sellers, CEO of the BOC, describes The World Games 2022.
Barkley will participate in several major events for The World Games. The Basketball legend will also represent The Games, generating excitement and community support for the global event.
Charles Barkley sees the multi-sport event, which will bring more than 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries to Birmingham, as an opportunity to show off who they are: from Birmingham's southern hospitality and charm, to their history and how far they have come from those times.
This first ambassador was delighted to receive an offer from Nick Sellers to be part of the team: “It's a great opportunity to support Alabama, my home state, on a global stage.” Charles Barkley, who played in the NBA from 1982 to 2000 for Philadelphia 76, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, is from Leeds, Alabama. This small town with more than 10,000 residents is located only 30 kilometres east of Birmingham.
Taking the Event to the Next Level
Nick Sellers leaves no doubt that the first Honorary Co-Chair will play an important part in promoting The World Games 2022: “It’s an honour to have a global icon, and one of Alabama’s most beloved sports figures, join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event for Birmingham. His international status and love for the Birmingham community will take this event to the next level.”
Barkley is more than aware of what it means to be part of a successful squad. In 1992 in Barcelona, Spain and four years later in his home country, he won Olympic gold in Basketball as a member of Team USA. He describes the special quality of teamwork as follows:
“It is about being a part of something that is greater than what you are on your own. It is working together for a common goal and in the end, attaining that.”
The World Is Coming – to celebrate Birmingham
One of the common goals is to make the world aware of the special features of the host city. Charles Barkley enthuses: “Birmingham is an incredible place. We have nationally acclaimed restaurants, one of the top University Hospitals in the US and we are one of the most diverse cities in the country.
” As Honorary Vice Chairman of The World Games 2022, he brings his popularity to The Games and lets the world know: “The World is coming.”
Bringing people back together and connecting them in the long term is another important goal of the first Honorary Co-Chair. In doing so, he also takes into account the current changes caused by the COVID 19 pandemic: “Sports bring people together. The virus has been something that has sent all of us to our corners and divided the world - physically and philosophically. The World Games involves athletes from over 100 countries, and this is a great opportunity to bring people together. These athletes will be connected for eternity because they have all participated in this great event together.”
The first date set: 7th July 2022
Charles Barkley has already entered the first date for 2022 in his calendar – 7th July: “I know that the Birmingham Organising Committee is going to put together something great for the Opening Ceremony, and I look forward to seeing that and being a part of that for sure!” But this is just the beginning, because during the ten days of competition more than 33 sports and about 200 medal events at 25 venues in Birmingham are on the programme.
Charley Barkley: “I’m excited to support this event, and I am looking forward to trying my hand at Korfball.”
The sport has some similarities to Basketball, but there is at least one specific difference: one of the rules is that there are always mixed teams on the pitch.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.