This is my fifth time competing in the World Police & Fire Games. I have won two gold medals at previous events, and this time I won a gold medal in the push/pull event and a silver medal in the bench event.
I lift as a Grand Master E (over 65), but this time I weighed in too heavy for the bench at 94.5Kg. I ended up lifting against someone who weighed 21lbs more than me and was 4 inches taller. I felt like David versus Goliath! I came in second.
With a day off before competing in the push/pull event, which is the bench and deadlift combined, I was determined to get back to my 93 kg class. I did not eat or drink all day and made my weight class with a weight of 92.2 kg. In the warm up room, however, my back muscles started to spasm. Every time I lay down on the bench I would get severe pain down my legs. I was not sure if I would be able to bench but when I went out to perform the lifts I did not feel any pain. I guess adrenaline had something to do with that. I ended up winning the gold and set records of 260lbs in the bench and 440lbs in the deadlift, with a total record of 700lbs.
What I noticed about these games is that the number of older athletes has increased dramatically. I think we are healthier and care about our physical shape more than in the past. The key to success for me is to be consistent. Don't skip workouts, get plenty of rest, and eat healthy. The World Police & Fire Games are every two years and since the last games I had partial knee replacement in both knees. I have fully recovered from the operations and my doctor has given me the green light to continue with my lifting. Doctors are starting to realize that keeping an active lifestyle is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health. My advice to everyone is to forget your age and keep doing what you like, enjoy life and don’t put any restrictions on yourself. My wife is constantly saying, ‘When are you going to grow up?’ I say never!
The next games are in Chengdu, China in 2019. I plan on going. I would like to give a special thank you to Warden Jay Pyke for supporting my efforts.