Pandemic-delayed World Games open in Birmingham a year late

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tug of war / tʌg əv wɔr / (n.) – a game in which two teams show their strength by pulling the opposite ends of a rope

    My friends and I had fun playing a game of tug of war.

  2. livestream / ˈlaɪvˌstrim / (n.) – a video of an event shown on the internet while it is happening

    I’ll be watching the livestream of the concert tonight.

  3. televise / ˈtɛl əˌvaɪz / (v.) – to show an event or program through the television

    The awarding ceremony will be televised on Monday.

  4. on the rise / ɒn ðə raɪz / (idiom) – becoming greater in amount, number, level, etc.

    The prices of goods and services are on the rise nowadays.

  5. stretch / strɛtʃ / (v.) – to cause someone to use all of his/her abilities or talents

    The sudden increase of patients stretched the tired healthcare workers.


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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The article said that COVID-19 cases are on the rise once again. Do you think the rising number will delay global events (ex. World Games, the Olympics) once again? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • With the presence of COVID-19, how do you think global events will change? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The event was made available for viewing both in person and by livestream. Which do you prefer, watching events in person or via livestream? Why? Discuss.
  • Why do you think a lot of live events are also being shown by paid livestream? Discuss.