Firefighters Summer Olympic games kick off in O.C.
July 11th, 2011, 12:56 pm · 3 Comments · posted by Laylan Connelly, staff writer
It’s all about the camaraderie. And of course, the friendly rivalry.
The annual Firefighter Summer Olympics kicked off this week, with firefighters from around California coming to Orange County to compete in 32 events.
The Firefighter Summer Olympics – which have been going on for about three decades – alternates between Northern and Southern California each year, with the Newport Beach Fire Department hosting this year’s festivities. Agencies from as far north as Sacramento are competing.
There’s pretty much every type of competition you can think of – from surfing, rock climbing, paintball, flag football and dodgeball, and even a poker competition.
Sam Szczepanek from Santa Barbara County Fire Department scored with 3- to 5-foot waves at Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach after his surfing heat. The surf portion – which has 85 firefighters competing – continues Tuesday with the longboarder contest.
“This is great, it brings all the department together,” said Szczepanek, who has entered the contest three years. “You see a lot of new and familiar faces. Everyone is a little competitive, you want to win. But at the same time, you want to have fun.”
The contests get the firefighters out of their uniforms, and for many this event becomes their summer vacation.
“We got some nice waves, and there’s some really good surfers out there,” said Grant Parsons, of the Newport Beach Fire Department.
Not all of the events are in Orange County. Some are held in nearby San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
For more info on the events: www.firefighterolympics.org.
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