The World Police and Fire Games officially opened in New York City on August 26, though scheduling is now contingent upon the effects of Hurricane Irene.
The event hosts 15,000 athletes in 65 sporting events, and is currently the second-largest multi-sport event in the world, surpassed only by the Summer Olympics, according to its website at http://2011wpfg.org.
The original plan calls for eleven days of competition, running through Sept. 5 and respectfully coinciding with the upcoming remembrance of September 11, 2001.
However, it was announced Friday that per executive order of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, events planned for this Saturday and Sunday are cancelled due to the expected impact of Irene.
“It is our goal to get as many sporting competitions under way and completed as possible, however, the safety of our Competitors is our highest priority,” organizers stated on the website.
The first Games were held in 1985 in San Jose, Calif., attracting almost 5,000 competitors. The Games are now held biennially and have been hosted by numerous countries.
“The mission of the Games is to create community interaction and awareness, educate children on the benefits of sport, and develop camaraderie between members of the emergency services from around the world,” according to the website.
“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.”
The 2011 Games has two themes: Remembrance and Gratitude.
Watch for further coverage on Firehouse.com. For scheduling updates and event details visit http://2011wpfg.org.