Los Angeles has won the right to host the World Police & Fire Games, a sports competition held every other year that draws roughly 10,000 participants from more than 70 countries.
The 10-day Olympics-style competition, which will see representatives from world police and fire agencies compete in 60 events at more than 30 venues around Southern California, will convene Aug. 7.
Athletes will do battle in basketball, baseball, football, soccer, dodgeball, golf, karate, judo, paintball, racquetball, ping-pong, badminton and many track and field events. They will also box, swim, shoot trap, fire pistols, surf, race dragon boats and ride off-road motorcycles — the specialty of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
Beck, who won twin gold medals in the 60-and-older category of the motocross and grand prix events two years ago in Fairfax, Va., was joined by representatives from other Los Angeles police and fire agencies in making the Wednesday morning announcement in front of the Los Angeles Coliseum.
"We're going to put on a world-class event for world-class competitors," Beck said.
Organizers, who call the event the second largest international sporting meet in the world, said they expect up to 30,000 additional visitors to arrive in the city to support the athletes. The games will attract more than 100,000 spectators, and be assisted by more than 4,000 volunteers, they said.
Beck, an avid off-road rider and racer at 63, likes his chances to go gold again.
"The 60-plus category isn't that crowded," he said, standing in front of his No. 545 KTM dirt bike.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the games are about celebrating physical fitness and building camaraderie.
"We have a saying in law enforcement that you fight like you train," he said. "Well, we compete like we train."
Opening ceremonies will be held Aug. 7 at the Coliseum.