NORMAN — Two local firefighters recently returned home with gold medals from one of the largest international multi-sport event in the world, the World Police and Fire Games.
The games, which are held every two years, were hosted in Northern Ireland this year and Norman Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey and Moore firefighter Jason Smith represented Cleveland County well.
Smith is now the third-time world champion for the push-pull weightlifting category. The push-pull includes a bench press push and dead lift pull. He set the dead lift world record during the 2011 games in Vancouver, Canada and then broke both the bench and dead lift world records this year in Belfast.
Smith said the record he set for the bench press is 170 kilos, or 374.7 pounds, and the dead lift record is 265 kilos, or 584 pounds, for a total of 959 pounds.
The thing he enjoyed the most about competing this year was having the opportunity to compete against others who live further away and haven’t been able to attend games in the past held in the U.S. and Canada.
“It’s a different type of competition and a different level of competition,” Smith said. “The country is absolutely beautiful and the people are great.”
Bailey, who won a gold medal in the scratch golf competition, said police and firefighters from all around the world come to compete and the games provide an opportunity for you to meet people you’d never get to meet anywhere else.
“It’s great. Especially because you meet people in the same business from all over the world and realize that it’s not so different,” Bailey said.
Bailey said he got the chance to visit a fire station in Belfast and all of the equipment and experiences the firefighters had were amazingly similar to those in the United States.