What West Midlands athletes really think about the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Denise Lewis, Mark Lewis-Francis and other West Midlands athletes give their views on the Games

More than one million people have travelled to Birmingham to experience the 2022 Commonwealth Games with the event being hailed as the biggest sports event to be held in UK since the  London 2012 Olympics.

Another half a million locals across the West Midlands bought tickets - and helped to make it the best-attended Commonwealth Games EVER! Another 14,000 volunteers have also played a significant part in helping to put on the show.

But what do the West Midlands’ star athletes think about the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games? Here’s a few words from them.

Denise Lewis carries the Queen’s Baton during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium

Denise Lewis OBE: Olympic heptathlon gold medallist and President of Commonwealth Games England from West Bromwich

“It’s incredible when you know that a Games is coming to your patch - the place where you grew up. The pride was bursting out of me - I felt like I was going to combust. The Games represent a journey - not just my personal journey but the city’s journey.”

Mark Lewis-Francis: Former England 4x100m sprint relay champion from Smethwick

“The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is going to deliver a lasting legacy for the region. I’m a proud Brummie, born and bred, and some of the changes that have been made already are going to create so many jobs, so much opportunity.

“I want the people of Birmingham to embrace it. We deserve this. It’s all about leaving a legacy for our future. Birmingham has got so much mad talent, and what these Games are going to do is open up a door for so many youngsters.”

Mark Lewis-Francis talks about the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham

Stacey Francis-Bayman: England Netball team, Goal Defence Goal Keeper, Wing Defence from Bromsgrove

"It is unreal to have a home Games once in a lifetime, and I’m so glad it’s happening in what is my final year (in netball). I feel incredibly lucky. To have the Games in the town where you are born is insane. I am such a proud Brummie and every time I step out on the court I’m making sure I take it all in.”

Delicious Orie of Team England competes with Nigel Paul (Not pictured) of Team Trinidad and Tobago during the Men's Over 92kg (Super Heavyweight) Quarter-Final 4 fight on day seven of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena

Lily Walker: England Hockey midfielder from Cannock

"It’s [University of Birmingham Hockey pitch] one of the prettiest pitches in the world. I’m a bit biased, but having [university clock tower] Old Joe in the background, the great hall and everything, it’s really special."

Delicious Orie: England super heavyweight boxer from Wolverhampton

"Fighting at home is extra special and I know how much it means to the locals."

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