Read the text below.
Delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Games opened July 7 in Alabama featuring more than 3,600 athletes participating in non-Olympic events including sumo wrestling, gymnastics, martial arts and tug of war.
The opening ceremony at Protective Stadium in Birmingham included performances by Nelly and the band Alabama. It kicked off 10 days of competition around the metro area in nearly 40 sports with participants from about 100 nations.
Organizers said more than 350,000 tickets were sold, and events were made available for viewing by livestream. CBS Sports televised 12 hours of coverage.
Hundreds of people turned out in Oxford, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Birmingham, for exhibition games between the USA Softball Women’s National Team, Team Australia and Team Japan.
Some streets in downtown Birmingham were shut down for security, but the city also added new features, including a park constructed beneath the rebuilt Interstate 20/59. Most athletes were housed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham or Birmingham-Southern College.
“Yesterday, the Egyptian karate team arrived at Birmingham-Southern. Today I was getting reports of the Canadian lacrosse team and others,” World Games chief executive Nick Sellers said July 5.
Initially scheduled for 2021, the World Games were delayed a year because of the pandemic. Cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are again on the rise, but state hospitals are far below capacities that stretched staff and intensive care units at the worst of the crisis.
This article was provided by The Associated Press.