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Lo­cal of­fi­cers fare ex­tremely well in L.A.

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY CODY MCEACHERN TRURO DAILY NEWS cody.mceachern@truro­

Truro was well rep­re­sented at the World Po­lice & Fire Games in Los An­ge­les as two lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers gave an ex­cel­lent ac­count of them­selves, with one earn­ing a sil­ver medal.

Cpl. Robert Hunka and Const. Justin Rus­sell of Truro Po­lice Ser­vice trav­elled to Cal­i­for­nia to com­pete against of­fi­cers and fire­fight­ers from around the world in the Cross­fit sec­tion of the world games ear­lier this month.

“It was phe­nom­e­nal,” said Hunka.

“My favourite part was in­ter­act­ing with of­fi­cers around the world. It turned out to be just a good va­ca­tion with like-minded friends. We went down with two dif­fer­ent first re­spon­ders who were close friends of ours to com­pete.”

Hunka and Rus­sell de­cided to com­pete after their friends Steven McKen­zie, a fire­fighter from Cape Bre­ton, and Pierre-Luc Labbé, an RCMP of­fi­cer from Camp­bell­ton, N.B., qual­i­fied to en­ter the games.

The World Po­lice & Fire Games are the sec­ond largest sport­ing event in the world, sec­ond only to the Olympic games, and pit law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and fire­fight­ers against each other in a va­ri­ety of sports, in­clud­ing bas­ket­ball, mud run, row­ing, Cross­fit, and mar­tial arts, among oth­ers.

The Truro of­fi­cers com­peted in the men’s 18-29 RX Cross­fit divi­sion, a two-day com­pe­ti­tion of phys­i­cal strength and en­durance.

Hunka fin­ished the com­pe­ti­tion in sec­ond place, tak­ing home a sil­ver medal, while Rus­sell made the top ten at eighth place.

“It was awe­some,” said Rus­sell. “I got to com­pete against peo­ple I have never seen be­fore

from all over the world. It was just a re­ally cool ex­pe­ri­ence with a lot of like-minded peo­ple, so it made the en­vi­ron­ment a lit­tle more re­laxed. It was just a re­ally mem­o­rable life ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The games are open to any full­time law en­force­ment of­fi­cer or fire­fighter, and of­fers sports for both ath­letic and non-ath­letic com­peti­tors.

“Its kind of all-in­clu­sive that way,” said Rus­sell.

“You don’t need to be some­one who is phys­i­cally ac­tive. You can

go do some­thing that is more leisurely like a mud run or a bean­bag toss.”

While rep­re­sent­ing Truro and com­pet­ing against some of the best po­lice and fire ath­letes in the world was a ter­rific ex­pe­ri­ence for the of­fi­cers, there was one as­pect in par­tic­u­lar that sur­prised them.

“We didn’t ex­pect the sup­port we got from the public at all,” said Hunka.

“We got a lot of sup­port be­fore we went down, but dur­ing the games, and after, the sup­port was huge. We would check our phones and have all of these mes­sages of sup­port, which I think drove us to push harder. It was re­ally nice.”

The next World Po­lice & Fire Games will be held in Chengdu, China, in 2019, and while there are no plans at the mo­ment to at­tend, Rus­sell said he “wouldn’t be op­posed to go­ing again.”

“We would check our phones and have all of these mes­sages of sup­port, which I think drove us to push harder. It was re­ally nice.”

Cpl. Robert Hunka, Truro po­lice of­fi­cer

suB­mIt­tED PHOtO

Cpl. robert Hunka, left, and Const. Justin rus­sell were the first from the Truro Po­lice Depart­ment to com­pete in the World Po­lice & Fire­fighter Games, and hope to be able to com­pete in fu­ture events as well.

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