2020 Xperience Tennis Invitational Brings out the Best

33 of Top Special Olympics North America Tennis Athletes Featured
Four athletes stand side by side in a group in front of a tennis net

The Xperience is Special Olympics tennis at its best. This three-day tennis extravaganza, in Charlottsville, VA, took place January 9-11 at the Boar's Head Inn & Sports Club, one of the country’s finest tennis venues and a fitting location for thirty-three of the best Special Olympics tennis athletes in the nation. The annual event was created in 2008 to fulfill the dream of Special Olympics Virginia athlete Jon Fried and his family to host a competitive tennis experience in Virginia.

Jon Fried and fellow Virginian Chris Raupp took home gold in their respective divisions, while division 1A gold went to Ryan Smith from Florida after a hard fought battle with Rachel Sweatt from Arkansas.

Bring together 33 tennis players from fifteen Special Olympics Programs, mix in world-class volunteers from UVA athletics programs and the Charlottesville tennis community, and you’ve got an ace of an event!

2020 Experience

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Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. The organization recently hit a mile stone with more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners. There were 106,300 Special Olympics sports competitions in 2018 averaging 291 per day and 12 per hour. These events ranged from local competitions or sports tournaments to Regional or World Games. The North America Region serves over 755,000 athletes and nearly 130,000 Unified partners. In 2018, there were 24,769 competitions held, including 8,339 with Unified Sports. That equals 68 competitions a day and 3 competitions an hour.

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North America has over half a million athletes participating in all 32 sports offered by Special Olympics. It is home to athletes from Canada, the Caribbean and the United States. Special Olympics is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.
Virginia
Little by little, the world changes. For Special Olympics Virginia, sport is the way we work that change, but the real power lies within the Special Olympics experience and all the people it touches.

It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

Special Olympics Virginia provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

Download the Special Olympics Virginia Fact Sheet