Local officers fare extremely well in L.A.
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
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.