The 2024 Opening Ceremony

Join us for the 2024 Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 7th at the University of Richmond's Robins Stadium. The ceremonies begin at 7:15 PM and promises to be an inspiring evening under the lights.

Emcees for the Evening


The ceremony will be co-emceed by Jamie Spiering and GeNienne Samuels. Jamie Spiering, an athlete who competes in basketball, volleyball, soccer, and track & field, has been an active member of the Special Olympics community since 2008. He will be joined by GeNienne Samuels, an award-winning journalist and evening news anchor with WTVR CBS6. GeNienne, a University of Richmond alumna, brings her extensive experience and enthusiasm to the event.

The Opening Ceremony will feature several special moments, including the singing of the National Anthem by the Henrico Fire Department’s Fire Choir and a unique rendition in sign language by Tim Nash. Athlete Samantha Bondurant will deliver a motivational speech, and Conner & Kim Emmert will lead the Athlete Oath in English, while the Ricci family will present it in Spanish.

Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia will be in attendance, offering remarks to honor the athletes and supporters of the Special Olympics Virginia. His presence underscores the significance of the event and the impact of the Special Olympics Virginia on the community.

Lighting the Cauldron

The traditional torch lighting will be carried out by Grant Harris and Laura Paschal, followed by the lighting of the cauldron by Rose Reeder and her service dog, Mr. Wiggles, alongside Prince William County Sheriff Peter Newsham. To conclude the ceremony, attendees can look forward to a dazzling fireworks display, courtesy of Pyro Shows.

The evening will also showcase a performance by Miracles in Motion, an inclusive dance studio based in Richmond. Their performance team will present award-winning numbers, adding a touch of artistic flair to the ceremony.

Grab a "bang-a-banner" to cheer on the athletes and be part of this vibrant community celebration. The 2024 Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games Opening Ceremony promises to be a night of unity, joy, and unforgettable memories. Don’t miss out on this incredible event that highlights the power of sports and the spirit of inclusion.

For more information, visit the Special Olympics Virginia website and join us at the University of Richmond on Friday night to celebrate the achievements and determination of these amazing athletes.