BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Games open Thursday in Alabama featuring more than 3,600 athletes participating in non-Olympic events including sumo wrestling, gymnastics, pickleball, martial arts and tug of war. The opening ceremony, set for Thursday night at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, includes performances by Nelly and the band Alabama. It will kick off 10 days of competition around the metro area in nearly 40 sports with participants from about 100 nations. Organizers said more than 350,000 tickets have been sold, and events will be available for viewing by livestream. CBS Sports will televise 12 hours of coverage. Some competitions already have been held. Hundreds of people turned out in Oxford, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Birmingham, for exhibition games between the USA Softball Women’s National Team, Team Australia and Team Japan.