by Carrie Adams
Every day heroes often materialize at Spartan Races and we are often hearing stories of valor, courage, and selflessness, oftentimes from athletes and racers from the Public Service Sector. We recently profiled Gerald Veneziano, a New Jersey based police officer who survived a horrific assault that resulted in multiple gun shot wounds. He’ll be on hand in Staten Island cheering on the Spartan athletes! We also introduced you to Andy Andras, a Paramedic/Fire Fighter of the Miami Dade Fire Department who raced in Miami and is gearing up for the 2012 Death Race.
The World Police and Fire Games are a unique opportunity for Police and Fire to come together in a back drop of competition and we headed to the games this week to support the men and women who do so much to protect us at home and who risk their lives ever day to keep us safe.
Biennially, the World Police and Fire Games give Police and Fire athletes an opportunity to take to challenges, compete, and push their physical limits in sports. As we approach the ten year anniversary of 9/11, the World Police and Fire Games take on special significance in NYC in 2011.
According to their website, the concept to promote sport and fraternity within the Police and Firefighting communities began in 1967, with the staging of the first ever California Police Olympics. This concept continued to grow and culminated in 1983, with the creation of the World Police & Fire Games Federation. The first World Games were held in 1985, in San Jose, California, attracting almost 5,000 competitors. Held biennially, the Games have been hosted by numerous countries throughout the world, attracting as many as 8,000 world class athletes from over 70 countries. A total of 46 core sports are standard, ranging from angling to wrist wrestling. Additionally there are 24 optional sports that help to meet the requirements of 69 total sports. Each ten day event begins with a grand opening ceremony, and continues with numerous planned social events and a memorial service spread throughout the week. The festivities culminate with the passing of the flag to the following host at the closing ceremony.
Since the first Games in 1985, attendance has continued to grow, world records have been broken, and lasting friendships forged. Sport and friendly competition, as expressed through the World Police & Fire Games, has the ability to overcome national boundaries and political ideals, replacing it with a camaraderie that has no borders.
2011 is a noteworthy year and the 2011 World Police & Fire Games and Memorial Inc. has been given the honor, privilege, and the responsibility to produce these World Police & Fire Games. Consisting of New York City Police Officers and Firefighters, the organization was responsible for preparing, presenting, and winning the bid to host this unprecedented event.The Games will respectfully coincide with the ten year remembrance of September 11, 2001. The 2011 World Police & Fire Games will be empowered by two themes: Remembrance (we will always remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001) and Gratitude (an opportunity for all New Yorkers to thank the world for the support that flooded into New York City after September 11, 2001).
- Provide the best possible sporting venues combined with world class officiating.
- Integrate the multi-faceted cultural, entertainment, and historical experiences that New York City has to offer.
- Remember those lost, and express gratitude for the support received from around the world.
The World Police & Fire Games are currently the second largest multi-sport event in the world, surpassed only by the Summer Olympics. Their goal is to make these Games the largest, most memorable sporting event the world has ever seen.
We are lucky to be a part of such a monumental and meaningful event.