It's a busy sports weekend for the Roanoke Valley!
The 23rd-annual Subway Commonwealth Games hold their Opening Ceremonies Friday night, July 20th at 7:15. Again this year, more than nine thousand athletes are expected to compete in some 55 sports.
Each year, the Games are a great shot in the arm for the economy in Roanoke and surrounding areas. It's estimated in their previous 22 years the Commonwealth Games have generated more than 63 million dollars to the Roanoke Valley economy, 63 MILLION dollars!
190 thousand athletes have competed in Virginia's Olympics in 22 years. Pete Lampman and his staff at Virginia Amateur Sports do an incredible job each year putting on these events. Pete, though, will be the first to tell you. He couldn't do it without sponsors, countless volunteers and friends of the Games who keep this annual event pushing forward.
This year's guest speaker is Olympic gold medal speedskater Joey Cheek, who won his gold in the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.
This weekend is a homecoming in a way for Cheek, who grew up not too far away in Greensboro. Cheek's first meet as an inline skater before he turned to ice was actually in Roanoke as a 10-year-old at the Star City Skate Center 23 years ago.
Football fans, (and aren't we talking about most everybody)
your wait is almost over! The ACC Football Kickoff Event is this Sunday and Monday in Greensboro. High school football practice begins Monday, July 30th. And pro football training camps open in the next few days.
Football Friday kicks off in less than a month, August 17th, with our preview show. Daily previews begin July 30th. For a schedule of which teams we're previewing on which days, just go to wset.com and click on Football Friday.
I'll be filling in this weekend for my partner Justin Feldkamp who's taking a road trip to Cooperstown, New York. Justin's pretty excited because his favorite player growing up, Barry Larkin of the Cincinnati Reds, is being inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame. Justin tells me he'll be taking PLENTY of pictures and will post them on his blog next week.
And for some good baseball this weekend, area American Legion teams will be battling in the District Tournament in Lynchburg with everybody trying to keep their season alive and earn a spot in the state tournament.
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