After a week full of competition, the Can-Am Police-Fire Games wrapped up on July 1. With dozens of fire and police departments in attendance, many members found themselves taking home medals.

After a week full of competition, the Can-Am Police-Fire Games wrapped up on July 1. With dozens of fire and police departments in attendance, many members found themselves taking home medals.

Mike Malone, who competed for America from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, competed in four different events during the games. He would go on to take first place in Road Cycling, 5k Running, and Mountain Biking, while also taking 2nd place overall in Cycling Criterium.

Malone said that he thought the games overall went smoothly and he enjoyed each of the individual events he was able to take part in. He said that two years ago, he found himself out of shape and wanted to make a positive difference in his life. He met with some friends and began a journey to better health through cycling and running. Reflecting on this, Malone said it’s great that he was able to take this newfound passion and utilize it for something like the Can-Am Games.

Throughout the week of competition, Malone was amazed not only by the different US competitors he met along the way, but also by the high turnout by Canadian competitors. He said he had never taken part in anything quite like it.  

Outside of the general events, Malone pointed to the patch trading event as his favorite. Competitors from every state and country were invited to meet and trade their station patches in order to find common ground and meet one another. Malone said it was interesting to share stories of the similarities found between each station, while also comparing the differences between them.

“I think our struggles tie us together,” Malone said. “We know what each other have gone through.”

Malone said he is ready to compete again in the 2020 Can-Am Games, which will also be held at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Wayne Ryan, a retired fireman from Mishawaka, Indiana, took part in a team angling competition with active fireman Larry Regina. Coming from outside of the lake area, Ryan was excited to see what the lake had in store. The pair take part in competitive angling across the country and decided it would be a nice challenge to take part in the Can-Am Games.

Having been included in the World Police and Fire games in Fairfax, Ryan said they had an idea of what to expect when coming down. The pair ended up taking gold in the angling event.

During the competition, Ryan said the weighing and general event participation went well and they had a good time. With eight total boats taking part, he felt they had a decent level of opponents to fish against. Regina said that weather looked as though it would affect the outcome of the fish, though it cleared up just in time to make for good conditions.

He said the pair is ready to go for the 2020 games and hopes the competition alongside them is even more than it was this year. To Regina, the more challenge presented, the better.

“It was a nice time and we enjoyed the lake,” Regina said. “When 2020 comes around, we’ll surely bring the boat down and have another go.”