6 Alabama athletes to watch at The World Games 2022

(The World Games 2022)

Looking for athletes connected to the state of Alabama to root for at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham? With help from the competition’s organizers we’ve discovered six competitors.

The Opening Ceremony begins today – July 7th – and will run through July 17th.

“The World Games 2022 will add to Alabama’s rich athletic history, and it’s certainly exciting to have local athletes qualified and set to compete,” The World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers.

Alabama-Connected Athletes to Watch

Olivia Mannon 

Sport: Lacrosse

What to know: Earlier this week, Bham Now’s own Sharron Swain published a remarkable story about Birmingham native Olivia Mannon, a member of the Israel National Lacrosse Team.


A graduate of The Altamont School, Mannon learned and played the sport via Greater Birmingham Youth Lacrosse Association (GBYLA) and Mountain Brook High School, which has one of the strongest lacrosse programs in the state. 

First Game:Israel vs. Haudenosaunee, the team formerly known as the Iriquois Nationals on July 12th.. 

Haylie McCleney

Sport: Softball

What to know: A graduate of Mortimer Jordan High School in North Jefferson County, we last saw McCleney at the news conference announcing the Hoover Met Softball venue for The World Games. An Alabama Softball legend, McCleney finished her collegiate softball career as the Crimson Tide’s career leader in batting average, on-base percentage, walks and triples. She is an outfielder and has played on two Team USA world championship teams and played on the silver-medalist team at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

First game: USA vs. Italy, Saturday, July 9, 7PM, at the Hoover Met; gold medal round is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13, 8PM 

Montana Fouts

Sport: Softball

What to know: A native of Grayson, Kentucky, Fouts is one of the most popular Alabama Crimson Tide Softball players. A right-handed pitcher, she has played at Alabama for the last four seasons. She was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Pitcher of the Year in 2021 and has been named All-SEC three times. In 2022 at Alabama, she finished 24-8 with a 2.10 ERA and 275 strikeouts in 190 innings pitched. She is the “Nolan Ryan” of college softball.

First game: USA vs. Italy, Saturday, July 9, 7PM, at the Hoover Met; gold medal round is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13, 8PM

Anna Gay

(The World Games 2022)

Sport: Waterski Trick

What to know: A nine-time gold medalist at the Waterski World Championships, Anna Gay, a graduate of Alabama, is a two-time National Collegiate Water Ski Association trick champion. 

Fun fact. The first female athlete named to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame was Leah Atkins. Her sport? Water skiing.

Schedule: Qualifying set for Thursday, July 14 and final set for Friday, July 15, at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham.

Andrew Roden

Sport: Sumo

What to know: A Guntersville native, Roden began sumo wrestling in 2020. Today, just two years later, he’s representing the U.S. at The World Games 2022. He said he believes he is the only sumo wrestler in Alabama.

Schedule: Qualifying and finals for lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight men and women, Friday, July 9; open weight competition is Saturday, July 10.

Raio Campos

Sport: Ju-Jitsu

What to know: Campos owns Ground Strike Grappling in Columbiana. He is a member of the Alabama National Guard. He is competing in the ju-jitsu ne-waza men’s 85-kilogram weight class at The World Games.

Schedule: Ju-Jitsu will be Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16, at Bill Battle Coliseum on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College.

Tickets Available

The World Games 2022
Vulcan and Vesta are ready! (TWG 2022)

More than 3600 athletes from 100+ countries will be in Birmingham over the next 10 days.

Tickets for The World Games, including the Opening Ceremony presented by Alabama Power and the Closing Ceremony presented by Coca-Cola, remain available. Tickets can be purchased at https://am.ticketmaster.com/twg2022/.

A schedule of all sports competitions is also available is at www.twg2022.com.

Spectators are also encouraged to use the free Ride the Line system and details of the shuttle system can be found online at www.twg2022.com/ride. Other spectator information can be found at https://twg2022.com/visit/.

Tell us on social media which games you are going to watch! Taking pics? Tag us at @bhamnow – we love photos!

Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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