16 December 2016
IWGA Delegation Visits Birmingham
During their recent visit to Birmingham/Alabama, José Perurena, President of the International World Games Association, and CEO Joachim Gossow met representatives of the Birmingham Local Organizing Committee (BOC) and Chester Wheeler, responsible for marketing and media within the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). During the sessions they set up the framework for close cooperation in the lead-up to The World Games 2021. In a separate meeting with the Mayor of Birmingham, William A. Bell, the IWGA President discussed the involvement of the City in the preparation and execution of the 2021 World Games. Mayor Bell assured all participants of the full support of the City.
One important item on the agenda with the Mayor was the protocol for the handover of the IWGA flag at the closing ceremony of The World Games next year in Wroclaw/Poland. The Birmingham organizer presented their first ideas on how the next host will be able to contribute to the closing ceremony on 30 July 2017. Mr. Bell stated that his city wants not only extend an invitation to TWG 2021: “We also want so show our southern hospitality and our enthusiasm for hosting this important multi-sports event.”
José Perurena, who was visiting the host city of the 11th edition of The World Games for the first time, was impressed with the diversity of facilities to be used for the event, which showcases about 30 sports with 3,800 participants from some 100 countries. The members of the Birmingham Foundation headed by Jonathan Porter, took the opportunity to show the IWGA President some of the venues in this city of more than 600.000 residents. They also invited Mr. Perurena to visit one of Universities in Birmingham. The host intends to make use of their facilities for the accommodation of the athletes. José Perurena: “There is no doubt. Birmingham is a vibrant city and a city of sports. During these days I could see that there is good reason for looking forward to TWG 2021.”
He thanked all participants for their fruitful work to get the preparation on track and pave the way to an extraordinary event which will be held for the second time in the USA (last held there in 1981). While the Birmingham representatives showed their famous hospitality, the IWGA delegation did their best to be good guests. José Perurena invited the members of the Birmingham Foundation, the Mayor, the city counselors and the delegate of the USOC to a dinner at the Westin Hotel. José Perurena: “We had successful working sessions. That was good and helpful. But having dinner together opens the door to working with friends. This is even better.”