The Lake of the Ozarks has been chosen as one of five finalists to host the 2018 Can-Am Games.
Local fire districts and police/sheriffs departments teamed up with the Tri-County Lodging Association to work to bring this event to Central Missouri, and the executive board of the Can-Am Games conducted a site visit Sept. 7-10.
The other prospective locations include: Ames, Iowa; Hampton Roads, Va.; Ontario, Canada; and St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Representing the Can-Am Board in the lake visit were:
•Terry Tycholis, Canadian Can-Am president from Regina, Saskatchewan
•Lynn Hillman, USA Can-Am president and treasurer from Salem, Ore.
•Gary Gibson, past CEO of the board and current board member from Calgary
This event is held every two years and all participants are members of police departments, sheriff departments and firefighters from around United States and Canada. The event includes 25-35 different games for the public safety attendees and spouses to compete such as track and field events, pistol and rifle events, softball, tennis, golf, archery, cycling, SWAT exercises, basketball, skeet, trap shooting, sporting clays, swimming, track and field, gym competition. Lake area organizers are proposing destination-unique events such as a bass tournament, skiing and wakeboard events, personal watercraft events, beach volleyball and others.
The Can-Am Police-Fire Games promotes physical fitness and camaraderie among and between emergency and protective services personnel and their agencies.
"We believe that the Lake of the Ozarks would be a destination like no other they have been to before," Osage Beach Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Dorhauer said. "We are not strangers to hosting large-scale events with visitors and guests from all parts of the globe."
Local law enforcement and fire department representatives will travel to York, Pa., Nov. 14-16, the site of the 2014 games, and give a presentation to the full board.
The dates under consideration for the Lake of the Ozarks are June 24-July 2, 2018.
The lake would offer 34 different games to include archery, bowling, cycling, golf, pistol competition, skeet, toughest firefighter alive, toughest competitor alive, triathlon, fishing, sand volleyball and several other events. The games would take place in Lake Ozark, Osage Beach, Camdenton, Eldon, Laurie and Sunrise Beach and possibly Jefferson City.
This is a non-profit event.
"We are thrilled to partner with Special Olympics Missouri for the 2018 games," Dorhauer said. "All profits from the games will go to benefit Special Olympics."
The lake is proposing two unified events with Special Olympics Athletes and Can-Am Athletes to take place during the games. The Special Olympic athletes would assist during the games by presenting medals to the wining athletes, helping with opening and closing ceremonies, volunteering at events and cheering on participants. The Special Olympics MO team will assist with their resources of volunteers and event management experience.