Miss Virginia to open 2021 Virginia Commonwealth Games Friday night in Lynchburg

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

Tatum Sheppard was crowned Miss Virginia 2021 on June 19, 2021 in Roanoke. (Image courtesy of the Miss Virginia Scholarship Organization).

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Friday night, Miss Virginia 2021 will not only lead athletes for the Commonwealth Games onto the field at Williams Stadium, but she will also sing “The Star Spangled Banner” to officially open the games at Liberty University.

“I’m excited to represent Virginia and the young people of our Commonwealth and get to see all the hard work they’ve put in,” said Tatum Sheppard, Miss Virginia 2021. “It’s especially honoring to celebrate these athletes at my alma mater, Liberty University, and kick off the games by singing the national anthem and helping lead the parade of athletes.”

Sheppard is a recent graduate of Liberty University, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre, and worked as a professional actor before winning the title of Miss Virginia 2021 in Roanoke back in June. Sheppard is also set to compete for Miss America later this year.

The torch-bearer for the event will be Antoine Craig, a blind Paralympian from Richmond who is currently qualified as a Tokyo Paralympics alternate for TEAM USA Track & Field running the 100m and the 400m. Craig will also compete in those events at the Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile, first responders from around the Lynchburg area will light the cauldron before the fireworks display.

Area first responders will light the cauldron followed by a fireworks display.

This free event will kick off at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 23 and is open to the public. WFXR Sports’ Ryan Moye will be live on WFXR-TV at 6:30 p.m. for a preview of the Commonwealth Games.

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