BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some of Alabama’s biggest stars fell on Birmingham Sunday night, July 17, 2022, as the Magic City said goodbye to The World Games 2022 during the Closing Ceremony.
Lionel Richie headlined the concert that included The Blind Boys of Alabama, Randy Owens, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Pastor Mike, Jr., Bo Bice, Jamey Johnson and others.
Athletes from around the world and fans packed Protective Stadium for the musical event. The Closing Ceremony marked the end of the massive 10-day World Games that put Birmingham center stage for sports from gymnastics, to flag football, softball, parkour, lacrosse and many more.
At 8 p.m., nearly 3,600 athletes, both local and international, proceeded into the middle of Protective Stadium where they sat as honored guests to Birmingham for one last time. Some of their greatest moments from the games were highlighted.
Mayor Randall Woodfin took the stage to thank the people of Birmingham for their patience and hospitality throughout the games. He highlighted the positive exposure to the city brought by the games saying, “we will shine.”
IGWA President José Perurena López took the stage following Mayor Woodfin to officially commemorate the closing of the games.
The Star Spangled Banner was performed by musical group Worth the Wait and the flags - including the American Flag, the World Games flag and the Olympic flag - were lowered from Protective Stadium. From there, the flag was passed to representatives for the next hosting city.
Richie, who has not performed in his home state of Alabama for several years, took the stage at 11:00 p.m., opening with “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
During a night of musical and dance performances, also came a formal announcement and teaser of the next World Games. The honor of hosting the next World Games will be passed to Chengdu, China in 2025.
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