An American flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol has begun a 44-day journey across the country from Washington, D.C., to Birmingham for “The Team RWB Old Glory Relay to The World Games 2022 presented by Airbus.”
During the relay, thousands of military veterans will have a chance to carry the same American flag on a 3,100-mile route through 15 states to the opening ceremony of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, officials said in a news release. You can track the progress here.
Details about the relay were unveiled today during a ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough helped hand off the flag to members of Team Red, White & Blue.
“We are excited to welcome people from across the globe to Birmingham, Alabama, for The World Games 2022,” Tuberville said. “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.”
“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,” Sewell said. “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. 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 7 and go Team Red, White & Blue!”
About 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries are expected to compete July 7-17 at The World Games 2022, which is organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee. This year marks the 11th edition of The World Games and the first that will be held in the U.S. since 1981.
“It’s going to be an incredible moment of national unity to watch veterans bring the American flag into the opening ceremony in front of a live, global audience as our country plays host to thousands of athletes and fans from every corner of the world,” said Nick Sellers, CEO of The World Games 2022. “We are thankful to our partner Airbus for making this possible and can’t wait to track the progress of Old Glory as our honored veterans take the flag on this epic journey.”
“Airbus is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Old Glory Relay and to support this incredible effort that will connect veterans from across the country to an inspiring mission,” said Daryl Taylor, vice president and general manager of the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. “A significant portion of our workforce at Airbus served our nation in uniform, so we are especially honored to partner with The World Games 2022 to show our admiration and support for America’s veterans.”
Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB) works to support veterans by helping them find lasting fulfillment through the creation of deep bonds with other veterans and civilian supporters.
“The Old Glory Relay is symbolic of our belief that veterans are our most resilient citizens,” said Mike Erwin, Team RWB executive director. “As we pass the American flag from one supporter to the next over its 3,100-mile journey, we display consistent support that connects thousands of Americans.”
The opening ceremony of The World Games 2022, presented by Alabama Power, will be a celebration of sports featuring live musical performances, special effects and a parade of athletes from every competing nation.
Former U.S. Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, a Birmingham native who is an honorary co-chair of The World Games 2022, and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin will carry the U.S. flag and The World Games flag into the opening ceremony.
“This is a huge honor and I’m excited,” Galloway said. “It’s big for the country. It’s going to connect thousands of people and countless communities because Airbus and Team RWB are doing this. It’s building those connections. I think that’s what we need right now.”
For more information about The World Games, visit TWG2022.com.
Team Red, White & Blue is a nonprofit organization forging America’s leading health and wellness community. Team RWB has more than 200,000 members spread across nearly 200 chapters and communities nationwide. To learn more, visit TeamRWB.org.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)