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2016 Can-Am Police-Fire Games Begin July 16

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2016 Can-Am Police-Fire Games

Heidi Kruger, Ashley Goodlad, Jonathon Balabuck, Mikkai Jones

2016 Can-Am Police-Fire Games Begin July 16

THUNDER BAY, ON  ---  July 12, 2016 –  (LSN)  Participants from Australia, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the United States and across Canada will be arriving in Thunder Bay in just a few days for the 2016 Can-Am Police-Fire Games. The Games are taking place July 16th to 24th.

Participants are law enforcement, fire, emergency and protective services personnel who will be competing in over 30 skill-testing, physically-challenging and entertaining events for the community to watch and enjoy.

Two of Thunder Bay’s own were presented with the ceremonial number one and number two race bibs for their extraordinary participation in the upcoming Games. Local firefighter Jon Balabuck, who is registered to compete in 25 events, was presented the #1 bib by Mikkai Jones, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay. Local police communications operator Ashley Goodlad, who is registered for 15 events received the #2 bib from Heidi Kruger, a local Special Olympian.

“Many hours have gone into this event and I'm excited to see the fruition of all the labour,” says Balabuck. “It's not every day we as athletes from this great city have the ability to compete on home soil in front of friends, family and co-workers, and have international competitors to compete against. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity; one I plan to seize fully.”

The Games start with the Opening Ceremonies Festival sponsored by Canadian Tire on Sunday, July 17 at Marina Park from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

The community is invited to this free event which begins with a special performance on Water Street by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Golden Helmets Precision Motorcycle Team. The Golden Helmets are known to wow crowds with their synchronized patterns and tricky manoeuvers. The team was formed in 1963 and provides exhibitions each year at fairs, festivals
and parades.

“Commissioner Hawkes and the OPP are pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Can-Am Police-Fire Games and support the healthy competitive nature of the event and emergency service staff from all participating agencies,” says Superintendent Darrell Smiley, Regional Commander of the North West Region OPP.

The musical headliner of the Opening Ceremonies is the rock band Poor Young Things (PYT). A local favourite, PYT’s five band members, all from Thunder Bay, have been performing and touring together since 2007.
There will be Aboriginal dance and drumming, police demonstrations and fun family activities and displays at the festival as well.

Hosting an international event of this calibre is only possible with the support of the community, and Thunder Bay has exceeded expectations with 526 volunteers registered and over 100 sponsors secured to this point.

“Thank you Thunder Bay. It’s one thing to be picked to host an event like this, it’s another to actually do it,” says Thunder Bay Police Chief and Games Board Chair J.P. Levesque. “The hundreds of volunteers and the support of our sponsors make the Games happen. Thunder Bay is lucky to have amazing people to bring the Games to life!”

Volunteers are still welcome and can register by visiting the Games website or calling 807-625-3435.

Competitions begin on Monday, July 18 with the archery, bench press, single/double 10-pin bowling, chili cook off, golf, power lifting, 5K run, and Toughest Firefighter Alive events. All of the events are open to the public to watch, free of admission.

A full listing of the events is available at www.thunderbaycanam.com.

Presented by Tbaytel, the 2016 Can-Am Police-Fire Games are a not-for-profit event in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Special Olympics.

Started in 1977, the Can-Am Police-Fire Games promote physical fitness and camaraderie among and between law enforcement, fire, emergency and protective services personnel and their agencies. The Games are held every two years in either Canada or the U.S.

Photo by John Sims

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