LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - The opening ceremony for the 2017 World Police & Fire Games took place Monday evening at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with Mayor Eric Garcetti among the speakers.
Approximately 8,000 active and retired police officers and firefighters from more than 70 nations will compete in 65 events in the biennial 11-day Olympics-style competition, which will continue through Aug. 16.
"What makes us different is the ages of the athletes," said Chuck Foote, director of the California Police Athletic Federation, the umbrella organization for the World Police and Fire Games Federation, which conducts the games.
"These athletes range in age from brand-new employees to those with 40 years of experience."
The World Police & Fire Games have been held every two years since 1985. "The World Police & Fire Games not only help to promote physical fitness through intense competition, it also builds camaraderie and lifelong
friendships among first responders," said Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, a past games competitor who is expected to also compete in this year's games.
"The opportunity to showcase our great city is great, but the fortuity to bring athletes from around the world together with our diverse communities to share in the passion of sport, that's something special."
Competition is also scheduled today in cycling's hill climb in Castaic. LAPD officers won gold and silver medals in cycling in Valencia as competition began Sunday.
Jahna Rinaldi of the Emergency Operations Division won a gold medal in the women's race. Trevor Silvera of the Northeast Division won a silver medal in the men's race.
A 2-mile open-water swimming race was held in the Pacific Ocean off Hermosa Beach.
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