Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life Off Duty: Competitive Cycling at the 2010 Can-Am Police and Fire Games

NOTE: Besides being fantastic first responders, our fire and rescue personnel have a variety of talents that go well beyond the fire station. Below is from Firefighter/Paramedic Bryan Stottlemyer who has become quite a cyclist after discovering it as part of a rehab program for shoulder surgery a couple of years ago. Read on and learn what one of our own does while off duty yet still represents the County and MCFRS proudly. Bill Delaney

By: J. Bryan Stottlemyer, Firefighter/Paramedic MCFRS

Two weeks ago, I returned from the 2010 Can-Am Police and Fire Games, which were held in Dublin, Ohio (just outside of Columbus). I competed in all four cycling events, along with members from my cycling team - Capital Region Fire and Police Cycling. We met, and competed against/with, other public safety workers from around the country and Canada.

The team members arrived with anticipation and excitement ready to put the last year's worth of training to the test. Throughout the events, which consisted of (in order) a Time Trial, Criterium, Street Sprints, and Road Race, our team members earned medals every time we raced. Personally, I earned three Gold Medals, and one Silver. Although I competed for the cycling team, every time I was announced for the podium, they introduced me as "From Montgomery County Fire and Rescue".

Our team, which consisted of members from Alexandria (VA) Fire, DC Metro Police and I, left the games with confidence and respect. We are looking forward to training hard (after a brief off-season, of course!) for the World Police and Fire Games which will be held next August in New York City.

I began riding competitively this year, after discovering road cycling while trying to rehab my shoulder after surgery two years ago. I immediately knew that it was a sport in which I wanted to compete and, shortly thereafter, I learned of the World Police and Fire Games as well as the Can-Am Police and Fire Games...both of which became target events for me. My preparation for next year will begin in about forty-five days. The World Police and Fire Games are going to be challenging to reach, financially, but I'm going to train hard nonetheless. This year, my out-of-pocket costs were nearly $10,000, and next year will probably meet or exceed that. My wife and son have been amazingly supportive, and I owe them all the thanks in the world.

For any Fire Fighter or Police Officer reading this, I would like to spread the word and personally invite others to participate in the world games. It is an experience that will last a lifetime, and next year there will be 68 sports to choose from ( I can tell you that in these difficult times, the brotherhood and camaraderie that is shared among firefighters and police officers around the world is alive and well. I am already looking forward to seeing the guys that I raced against next year!

1 comment:

Greg Friese said...

Congratulations. What a terrific inspiration for other fire and EMS professionals that it is possible to have a demanding work schedule and train at a high level.