Vonetta Flowers named as Honorary Co-Chair for The World Games 2022

Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers in 2002 Winter Olympics. Photo via Vonetta Flowers

The Birmingham Organizing Committee for The World Games 2022 has released some exciting news — Vonetta Flowers has been named honorary co-chair.

Honorary Co-Chair Flowers

the world games 2022
Flyer of Vonetta Flowers named Honorary Co-chair for TWG2022. Photo via The World Games 2022

The Birmingham Organizing Committee for The World Games 2022 announced that Olympic Gold Medalist and former University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) track and field All-American Vonetta Flowers has joined The World Games 2022 (TWG) as an Honorary Co-Chair.

In her role with TWG 2022, Flowers will participate in several events, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. She will also represent, support and promote the message and mission of TWG 2022.

Before the Gold Medal

Flowers with the push. Photo via- blacklist.org

Birmingham native, Vonetta Flowers, is proud of being honorary co-chair of The World Games 2022 Birmingham.

“Birmingham is home to me, so being able to help bring an international competition like The World Games 2022 to my home community, a place I love and care for so much, was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Vonetta Flowers, Olympic Gold Medalist

Before her Olympic glory, she graduated from Birmingham’s Jackson-Olin High School then accepted a track and field scholarship to UAB. She became the first ever seven-time All-American and racked up 35 Conference USA titles for the Blazers.

Flowers was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, then inducted in UAB’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

From Athlete to Olympian

vonetta flowers
Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken in 2002 Winter Olympics. Photo via The World Games 2022

Flowers pivoted to Bobsled and qualified for the 2002 Winter Olympics after failing to qualify in track and field at the Summer Olympics in 1996 and 2000.

In the 2002 Winter Olympics, Flowers competed as a brakewoman in the two-woman Bobsled event with driver Jill Bakken. She and Bakken took first place, making her the first African American athlete to ever win a gold medal there.

Flowers said “I know, what the thrill of winning gold is like, and I can’t wait to see that joy on the faces of those competitors that get to do the same right here in Birmingham.”

The World Games 2022 in Birmingham

the world games 2022
The World Games 2022 Logo. Photo via The World Games 2022

An anticipated 3,600 athletes will participate in more than 30 different sports throughout The World Games 2022. It’s exciting to see Birmingham’s Vonetta Flowers join former NBA MVP Charles Barkley and country music star Randy Owen on the current list of Honorary Co-Chairs.

TWG 2022 CEO Nick Sellers says that there are many superlatives to describe Vonetta Flowers— trailblazer, inspiration, champion and many more.

“That’s why it’s such a privilege to also call her an Honorary Co-Chair of The World Games 2022. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment. And Vonetta is a one-of-a-kind person. She represents the very best of our great city and state. I can’t wait to see her join Randy Owen, Charles Barkley, and perhaps a couple of other global icons lead the delegation of 3,600 world-class athletes into Opening Ceremonies on global television as they compete for gold.”

Nick Sellers, The World Games 2022 CEO

The World Games 2022 with the support of the International Olympic Committee will hold its 11th edition in Birmingham from July 7-17, 2022.

Want more information on The World Games 2022? We’ve got you covered:

For all the news around Birmingham, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and sign up for our FREE newsletter

Tira Davis
Tira Davis
Articles: 175