PELHAM, Alabama (WIAT) – Oak Mountain State Park is gearing up to host several events for the 2022 World Games in July.
Crews have been working to spruce up the property for months and now they are finishing the finishing touches.
“It’s just around the corner. It looks like we’re rushing to the end,” said Anna Jones, events coordinator for Oak Mountain State Park.
Jones said she communicates with someone from the World Games daily. The park will host a handful of water sports events and also orienteering.
“We actually run a few different meets, so we’re going to have orienteering – that middle distance. We will have wakeboarding, waterskiing and then the canoe marathon,” Jones said.
Buoys are already deployed on Double Oak Lake where some of the best snowboarders and water skiers on the planet will compete this summer.
Spectators will be able to follow the action.
“During skiing and wakeboarding, we’re actually going to have a portion, as the beach is going to be open. We’re going to have a little area where they can get in the water and they can swim, so it’s going to be very interactive, and you’re right next to these athletes,” Jones said.
Jones explained that the orienteering event will involve the use of a compass and pace, but athletes will also incorporate cross-country running skills into the event.
The Canoe Marathon will also take place on Double Oak Lake.
“They’re just going to do kind of a canoe and run backwards and in fourth they have to do a portage section so they have to like lifting the canoe, getting out of the water, carrying it a certain way and then coming back and carrying on. race,” Jones said.
To prepare for visitors, the park repainted, pressure washed, and finished new bathhouses near the beach.
A World Games mural is also in place near the terrace fountain.
With intense security for the 2022 World Games, visitors will be limited.
“For the World Games specifically, they’ll only be selling 2,000 tickets per day per competition, so we’re looking at a maximum of 2,000 here,” Jones said.
Jones said the terrace will be closed to members of the public who don’t have tickets to the event, but the rest of the park will be open.
The park is almost ready to shine on the world stage.
“We are proud to be in Alabama. We are proud to be an Alabama State Park and we really take this opportunity seriously to show the world what exactly the beauty of Alabama is,” Jones said.
While a new roundabout on State Park Road has been completed, work is still underway to widen and improve the road. It should be completed before the events of this summer.