It’s go time.
The opening ceremonies of the World Police and Fire Games kickedoff in Prospect Park last month. Thousands came out to see firstresponders from all over the globe start up some friendlycompetition with plenty of fanfare.
There was a lot of joy to see police and fire units from aroundthe world coming out to engage in sports in 67 different venues,said State Senator Marty Golden, a former police officer himselfwho fought to get the games to come to New York City for years.Fifteen to 16,000 are participating and another 15,000 to 16,000are volunteers. You name a country and they were there!
The games will run until September 5 and will take place atvenues in all five boroughs. Unfortunately, Friday was the calmbefore the storm since a little hurricane named Irene had otherplans. It was such a great opening day, Golden lamented. I feelso bad for them and how this weekend’s story has taken their pressaway.
To make matters worse, competitions have to be finished in eightdays instead of ten, since all events were cancelled over theweekend. They have to finish up these venues by this week becausethey have to go back to their homelands, Golden said, noting thata new event was added to the schedule – a Hurricane SurvivalParty — that took place on Tuesday night. Who would have thoughtthey would experience an earthquake and a tropical storm thisweek?
Nonetheless, Golden was happy with the results of his efforts tobring the games to New York City. This will bring a lot ofeconomic development to the city and it’s great that this wasallowed to take place in the week leading up to 9/11, he said,noting that the games are the second biggest sporting event in theworld, after the Olympics. This is a great city and a greatcountry.
Golden will attend the games’ closing ceremonies next week andsaid he is not sure how the games will turn out. It’s interestingto see how they play out, he said. I will be back at the closingevents to wish all the teams from around the world a thank you andGodspeed as they return to their nations.