Burnaby, BC (July 10, 2009): It's official. More than 10,000 athletes are coming to British Columbia for the 2009 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG). The Games passed the 10,000 mark yesterday with 21 days still left for athletes to register for the Games. The best attended Games in WPFG history were the Barcelona games in 2003 with 10,576 athletes.
According to Games CEO Stuart Ballantyne, the excellent turnout for the Games is a reflection of British Columbia's global reputation as a spectacular tourism destination as well as the hard work and long hours put in by Games staff and Board of Directors over the past six years.
"We're delighted to be only the second World Police and Fire Games to pass the 10,000 mark," said Ballantyne. "Hitting this mark is especially significant for B.C. tourism when you consider that each registered athletes brings two to three people with them to the Games."
With more than 60 sports on display at over 50 venues, the 2009 World Police and Fire Games will provide hundreds of free opportunities for British Columbians to cheer on 2,500 BC athletes as they take on the world.
"This spectacular response to the 2009 World Police and Fire Games is a real testament to the perseverance and commitment of the organizers," said Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong. "The men and women who keep B.C. communities safe are some of the fittest athletes in the world, and the Games are a great demonstration of their achievements and of the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle."
The 2009 World Police and Fire Games presented by TELUS get under way on Friday, July 31st and run to August 9. The Games are open to all full-time professional firefighters, law enforcement, customs and correctional officers from around the world. Held every two years, these games bring together the emergency services community for 10 days of sport, celebrating camaraderie, community and competition. For more information, visit www.2009wpfg.ca.
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