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Brussels firefighters head to World Police and Fire Games in China
Three dozen Brussels firefighters left from Brussels Airport yesterday to participate in the World Police and Fire Games in Chengdu, China – the world’s biggest sporting event after the Olympic Games - in terms of participants with 12,000 competitors representing 70 nationalities.
The biennial competition is open to athletes representing law enforcement, border protection, immigration and customs as well as firefighters and tends to draw thousands of participants from more than 70 countries.
Two years ago, the Brussels delegation of firefighters napped 13 golden, 11 silver and 6 bronze medals. Brussels firefighter Philippe Dupan told Het Laatste Nieuws that they want to do even better this year. “That’s the goal, even though we expect the competition to be a lot tougher this year,” he said. “Some countries send professional athletes, so you know it’s going to be hard.”
Dupan said the team want to put down a strong performance in Chengdu, yes, but also forge a lasting group bond. “That’s why we took people with us from the entire corps,” he said. “Not necessarily the best athletes, but a beautiful mix instead. We want to give our new recruits a shot. Our football team for instance includes a guy who is 22 years old.”
The Brussels firefighters will represent Belgium at the Chengdu event because they beat all 17 other participating teams in the third edition of the Belgian Fire Games last year.
Photo: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck
Written by Linda A. Thompson