BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Most Wednesday afternoons at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport might have a handful of flights touch down. The day before the opening ceremony of the World Games, more than two dozen landed after noon as athletes from across the world made their way to the Magic City.

“We are excited to start the World Games,” Juan Fernando Ocampo from the Colombian Finswimming Team said. “We want to find some good places here in the city to know their food and what there is to do here.”

From the Columbian Finswimming team – to the Guatemalan Speed Skaters, athletes who arrived Wednesday said they are excited to be here.

“I want to start this amazing experience,” Walter Urrutia from the Guatemalan Speed Skating Team said.

This is a feeling echoed by the Canadian Softball Team.

“I think we’re all just ready to get into the games and ready to go,” Jorde Chartrand from the Canadian Softball Team said.

Grace Messmer from the team said she can’t wait to start practicing.

“The heat, at least where I’m from it doesn’t get super hot,” Messmer said. “I think all the nerves will go away in the first practice.”

Justin Kizzart is a Sumo Wrestler for Team USA. He arrived a day earlier than most of the other American athletes.

“No matter what country you’re from, you can find common ground with the sport that you’re in,” Kizzart said.

Kizzart said he’s to see his competition from Ukraine here. He said Japan has offered facilities for them to train.

“It’s sad but it’s also a cool thing that the sumo community came together to be able to do that,” Kizzart said.

All athletes said they are proud to represent their countries.

“You have to be on the team to know,” Kathy Ria Garcia-Soto from Puerto Rico’s Softball Team said.

She said she gets emotional thinking about how much it means to represent her country.

“It doesn’t matter if you bring home a gold medal or any medal, they still will celebrate you,” Garcia-Soto said.

The athletes are hopeful that Magic city charm will rub off good luck.

“I feel like every day is important,” Nicola Simpson from the Canadian Softball Team said. “Taking it one step at a time and competing just like we know how to do.”

They ask that we cheer on all sports across all of the events.

“It’s really amazing to have a crowd screaming and cheering for us,” Urrutia  said. “Thank you for welcoming us.”

The athletes are staying at UAB at the Athlete’s Village resting up for the ceremonies to begin at Protective Stadium on Thursday.