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Alabama congressional delegation celebrates Old Glory relay to Birmingham’s World Games 2022

Members of Alabama’s congressional delegation earlier this week celebrated the opening relay for the flag that will be carried to The World Games 2022 in Birmingham.

The Team Red, White, and Blue Old Glory Relay opening ceremony took place Wednesday morning at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), along with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, helped hand off the flag to members of the team.

(Congresswoman Terri Sewell/Contributed)

Following the kick-off event, thousands of military veterans with Team Red, White and Blue will participate in the relay by carrying an American flag flown by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) over the U.S. Capitol on a 44-day, 3,100-mile journey through 15 states. The relay will begin in the nation’s capital and finish at the start of the World Games on July 7 in Birmingham.

In a statement, Shelby called the flag relay “an incredible opportunity” to convey gratitude to those who have served the nation in uniform.

“I am pleased to help kick off the Old Glory Relay to The World Games 2022, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, where I was born and raised,” said Shelby. “It has been my honor to fly the Team Red, White & Blue American flag over the Capitol – the same flag that will be relayed by thousands of American veterans all the way to the Magic City for the official start of The World Games in July. This is an incredible opportunity to honor our veterans and show the world all that Alabama has to offer. Best of luck to all of the relay participants and The World Games’ athletes.”

Tuberville touted Alabama’s Magic City as a “thriving” metropolis with an abundance of culture and entertainment opportunities.

“We are excited to welcome people from across the globe to Birmingham, Alabama, for The World Games 2022,” stated Tuberville. “No doubt, Birmingham has been eagerly preparing to host this event, and visitors will find a warm welcome when they arrive. Birmingham is a thriving city with a lot to offer. I look forward to watching all the athletes compete and explore the city’s history, sights, and restaurants.”

Sewell offered gratitude to the veterans participating in the relay and hailed Birmingham’s hospitality and preparation efforts in hosting the 11th World Games.

“The decision to host The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama is a testament to the rich culture, unique history, and extraordinary opportunities that are only available in the Magic City,” proclaimed Sewell. “I am so excited to join the State of Alabama and the City of Birmingham as we welcome athletes and fans from across the world and showcase all that our great city has to offer.”

“What better a way to begin this year’s event than by honoring our nation’s veterans as they prepare to carry the American flag to Birmingham,” she added. “To the veterans participating in this year’s relay, thank you for your service and for bravely defending our freedoms. See you in Birmingham on July 7th and go Team Red, White, and Blue!”

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) conveyed the Birmingham area’s excitement over the upcoming international competitions.

“The anticipation and excitement surrounding The World Games can be seen all around the Birmingham area,” advised Palmer. “This event will showcase Alabama the Beautiful, the talented workforce in the region and southern hospitality to athletes from all over the world who will be competing in the first World Games held in the United States since the inaugural games in 1981.”

He concluded, “I’m grateful for the veterans, who have served our nation so well, that are carrying our flag to the start of the games and for all the athletes proudly representing the United States during this international competition.”

The World Games 2022 will take place July 7-17, with an estimated 3,600 athletes competing in 34 different sports.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL