The Subway Commonwealth Games kicked off Friday, July 19th. The games, which are organized by Virginia Amateur Sports, officially began on Friday night, July 20 at 7:15 pm with the 24th Anniversary of their Opening Ceremonies at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Guest speaker, Olympic Silver Medalist Fencer Tim Morehouse, addressed the athletes, their families and gave a moving motivational testimony. Much like the Olympics, this colorful and festive ceremony included the parade of athletes, pyrotechnics, Miss Virginia, the lighting of the cauldron, and a wide variety of interactive events with the athletes participating.
More than 2,500 athletes actually competed in events held prior to the opening ceremony that included, tennis, USSSA baseball, baton twirling, youth swimming in Waynesboro, figure skating in Lynchburg, sand volleyball in Virginia Beach and BMX bikes in Petersburg.
Last weekend offered additional competition in 20 different sports with basketball, NSA girls’ softball, track and field, karate, bowling, archery, badminton at facilities around the Roanoke Valley and even an Auto Cross in the city of Verona.
The competition continues this weekend (July 27-28) with three new sports that have been added to the games: The Strongman competition will be held on Saturday, July 27 starting at 10:00 am at the House of Strength located on Shenandoah Ave. 3D archery will be held at the Sherwood Archery Club on Saturday and Sunday starting at approximately 9:00 am. And ultimate Frisbee will be held on the North Fields at Rivers Edge on Saturday and Sunday starting at approximately 9:00 am.
In all, 9,500 athletes are expected to compete in 58 sports and events that are being offered this year. Since the Games inception in 1990, approximately 200,000 athletes have competed in the Games.