The World Games 2022 unveiled its gold, silver and bronze medals during a dramatic and celebratory event today at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame featuring three medal-winning Olympic and Paralympic athletes and a hype video that pumped up the excited crowd.
In a scene reminiscent of a traditional medal presentation, the athletes took their places on a three-tiered medal platform and had the gold, silver and bronze medals placed around their necks by Ron Froehlich, the Honorary Life President of the International World Games Association. Before the athletes stepped up on the platform, the crowd watched a 90-second hype video featuring stirring music and fast-paced images of the sports that are part of the Games’ program. The theme that tied the video and the event together is “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 multi-sport 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.”
José Perurena, IWGA President: "It is always a special moment when a host city presents its medals. It’s really a milestone on the road to The World Games. It becomes imaginable and literally visual what the Games will be about from 7 to 17 July. Because to win one of these medals, more than 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries will come to Birmingham. They have been working towards this goal for years. Now they can see what they strive for. And when they take those medals home, they take with them a piece of Birmingham and good memories of a welcoming city."
The World Games 2022 (7-17 July 2022) will feature 3,600 elite athletes from more than 100 countries competing for medals in 34 sports. Organised 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 were held in Santa Clara, California in 1981. In addition to thousands of athletes, an estimated 500,000 spectators will attend the competitions. 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 the age of 17.
- Mark Everett, a three-time Olympian and world record-holder who later served as 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 is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support 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 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.