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2013 World Police and Fire Games – Cst. Popke

151After a long journey from Vancouver to Belfast,  I made it on time on August  1st to meet up with Arthur Wlodyka and march in with him and the rest of the Canadian athletes to proudly represent our country and the New Westminster Police Deptartment at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2013 World Police & Fire Games.

This was my ninth World Police & Fire Games, with my first dating back to 1989.  My events have changed over the years from Toughest Competitor Alive & cross country to bench press, wrist wrestling, shot put, discus & javelin.

I was fortunate to be able to compete in five of the six events I registered for and won medals in every one of them:

  • 3 g15old medals in  bench press, right wrist wrestling, left wrist wrestling
  • 1 silver medal in shot put
  • 1 bronze medal in javelin

The Belfast Games motto was “The friendliest games ever” and they took these words seriously!  Everyone in the city of Belfast, from citizens, volunteers, organizers, public transportation, referees, athletes, friends and family, all pitched in and made it so. Everywhere I went in and around the city, I was greeted with smiles and offers of assistance. The weather was fantastic, warm and sunny with the odd cloud and only a few quick sprinkles of rain.

I enjoyed returning to Ireland after my first visit nine years ago and getting the opportunity to soak in the splendor of the country and relate to the people in a different way – this time as an athlete and representative of Canada and more specifically, as a police officer with the New Westminster Police Deptartment.

I can’t fully describe what it feels like to be a part of the camaraderie and long lasting friendships forged out of being involved in such a fantastic athletic event. It was truly a positive experience that I will never forget!

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