April 21, 2015

SOCHI, Russia (AP) Birmingham, Alabama, has made it official - signing the agreement to hold the World Games in 2021.

Mayor William Bell and International World Games Association President Jose Perurena signed the host city contract Tuesday during the SportAccord convention in Sochi. Birmingham was selected as host in January, beating bids from Lima, Peru, and Ufa, Russia.

The World Games are held every four years and consist mainly of sports not on the Olympic program, including squash, sumo and tug of war.

Birmingham will host the 11th edition of the games. The games will go to the U.S. for the first time since the inaugural event was held in Santa Clara, California, in 1981.

Bell says the people of Birmingham are excited about the chance to ''showcase ourselves to the rest of the world as a great sports city.''

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