World Police & Fire Games Wraps With Triumphs and Tragedy

The 2015 World Police & Fire Games wrapped more than a week of competition and camaraderie in Fairfax County with a half marathon and a closing ceremony Sunday at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Since June 26, athletes from more than 50 countries ran and swam, grappled and rowed, shot and spiked here. They also competed for law enforcement-specific titles such as honor guard and ultimate firefighter.

The games, which cost about $20 million to put on, were expected to pump more than $50 million into the Fairfax County economy.

In Reston, site of the Athletes Village, the games went off without incident. The surface parking lot turned into a daily beer garden, silent disco and concert venue, where NYPD cops played darts with Scandinavian firefighters and personnel from across the globe traded patches and lifted a pints.

Over the holiday weekend, athletes engaged in a raucous wrist wrestling competition in the pavilion and indoor rowing at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

Reston was also the site of Sunday’s final competition, the half marathon. See how the runners finished on this WPFG results page. Law enforcement officials carried the Games’ torch in the half marathon’s final steps. The torch has now been passed to Montreal, site of the 2017 Games.

Reston was also the site where hundreds of visitors and athletes paid tribute to Brazilian police inspector Carlos Silva, who died from injuries suffered in a cycling race accident.

Silva, 48, and the other cyclists (one American, the other Canadian) were involved in a chain reaction accident after a tire blowout on a downhill stretch of a 36-mile course at Prince William Forest Park.

The other two cyclists, who have not been identified, were critically injured.

On Friday night, the Reston Town Center Pavilion was turned into a makeshift chapel, where a public memorial service was held for Silva. All weekend long, visitors and athletes left flowers, candles and police patches near the Mercury Fountain in Silva’s honor.

Also on Friday, Silva, was awarded a posthumous gold medal in the triathlon. Silva had been scheduled to compete in the triathlon in Reston. His teammates accepted the medal on his behalf.

The World Police & Fire Games has set up a Go Fund Me page to help all three families affected by the bike accident.

“The athletes are not sponsored and travel at their own expense,” reads the Go Fund Me page. The families of these athletes will endur extensive costs to come to our area in order to be with their loved ones. In addition, Inspector Carlos Silva of Brazil who was killed leaves behind a daughter.”

Officials said 100 percent of the money raised will be equally divided among the three families. The two injured cyclists remain at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

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