Organizers for the World Games held a news conference in Birmingham on Wednesday to reveal the medal designs for the city’s international competition this summer.

The medals are truly works of art, and to know that athletes from around the world will be competing for these gold, silver and bronze prizes picturing iconic images of Birmingham is awe-inspiring. This summer will be a transformative time for the city, and that message was emphasized by Birmingham’s local dignitaries.

The event was attended by politicians and every speech touched on the spirit of togetherness required to pull off such a large undertaking. Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin called the World Games a major step for the city’s growth and Hoover mayor Frank Brocato talked about regional cooperation. It was a celebratory occasion marking 134 days until the opening ceremony of World Games Birmingham.

Then, a few hours later, Russia invaded Ukraine, and everything changed. A moment for Birmingham to celebrate itself and the world suddenly became something different, and more complicated.

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