Could postponing the Olympics impact the 2021 World Games in Birmingham?

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — In less than 500 days, the 2021 World Games are scheduled to come to Birmingham.

The 10-day period is set to begin July 16, 2021 with opening ceremonies on July 15.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 Olympic Games games have been postponed and it could have an impact on next year’s World Games.

The summer Olympics in Tokyo were set to begin on July 24, 2020, but will now be delayed by about one year, according to the International Olympic Committee. An exact date has not been set. That ‘one year’ postponement could directly interfere with the 2021 World Games Birmingham 10-day span.

Nick Sellers, CEO for the World Games, released this statement Tuesday in regards to the growing concerns.

“With the announcement of the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, there has been considerable speculation regarding its impact on The World Games 2021 Birmingham. We have been keeping a close eye on the situation and have remained in constant contact with the International World Games Association (IWGA).”

“At this time, it would be premature to speculate about potential changes to our event until we receive more information from the IOC on its specific plans. However, we remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering a world-class experience in Birmingham and are confident in a positive outcome for our athletes, fans and community. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.”

Birmingham is anticipating more than 3,500 athletes and nearly 1,500 media members from all over the world. In addition, up to half a million fans and spectators could attend. The 2021 World Games have raised more than $18 million in corporate sponsorship, as well as commitments from city, county and state entities.


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