Military veterans and armed forces supporters just began the “Old Glory Relay,” a 44-day journey from Washington, D.C., to Birmingham, Ala., to kick off the World Games. Patriotic participants of the relay take turns carrying an American flag, rain or shine, from town to town ahead of the multi-sport event in Alabama.
According to organizers, relay participants will “run, walk, ruck, push, and cycle” Old Glory to the finish line. Similar to the Olympic torch traveling throughout the world, once the American flag reaches Alabama, the World Games officially begin.
Team Red, White & Blue — the veteran health and wellness nonprofit that’s hosting the relay — said the flag will move through 15 states en route to its final destination. The order goes Washington D. C., Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and then finally Alabama.
The World Games officially begin Thursday, July 7, 2022, according to Fox News.
“The Old Glory Relay is a symbol. It’s a symbol of our belief that veterans are our most resilient citizens,” said Mike Erwin, the executive director of Team RWB, in a statement. “As we pass the American Flag from one supporter to the next over its 3,100-mile journey, we also display consistent support that connects thousands of Americans.”
The Old Glory Relay spans a total of 3,100 miles
Car manufacturer BMW partnered with the relay to provide a public tracker and a constant automotive companion for relay racers. The hope is that they don’t feel alone or unsafe on remote stretches. Supporters who wish to keep an eye on the flag’s progress can also follow along on BMWOGRtracker.com.
Similarly, hopeful relay participants can sign up as an individual or team on Team Red, White & Blue’s website: TeamRWB.org.
“It’s going to be an incredible moment of national unity to watch veterans bring the American flag into the Opening Ceremony in front of a live, global audience as our country plays host to thousands of athletes and fans from every corner of the world,” said Nick Sellers, the CEO of The World Games 2022.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby then said it’s an honor to fly the flag over the Capitol of his home state.
“I am pleased to help kick off the Old Glory Relay to The World Games 2022. It will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, where I was also born and raised. It has been my honor to fly the Team Red, White & Blue American flag over the Capitol. The same flag that thousands of American veterans will relay to the Magic City for The World Games. This is an incredible opportunity to honor our veterans and also show the world all that Alabama has to offer. Best of luck to all of the relay participants and The World Games’ athletes.”