Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Special Olympics Tennis Tournament - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Special Olympics Tennis Tournament

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The opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics of Virginia tennis tournament start at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Boar's Head Inn.

Thursday, some pre-games were held to determine the skill level of each athlete.

The ceremonies begin with a parade and the lighting of the torch. Then elimination games will be played Friday, starting at 8 a.m., to whittle down the 36 athletes. On Saturday, the top contestants will compete for the medals.

Tournament director Ron Manilla says the annual games attract some of the best players in the country. Manilla says tennis is not offered all the time in the Special Olympics, which makes this tournament especially popular.

"In tennis, where there's not a lot of tournaments and some of the better players don't get a chance to compete and play a lot, this tournament was designed to bring in the top tennis players in the country, and now it's designed to bring four international players in," said Manilla.

Manilla says the tournament always attracts hundreds of fans, and Manilla encourages everyone in the area to come out and support it.

The games will be held all day Friday and Saturday in the Boars Head Inn sports complex.

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