On Wednesday, August 5, James K. Pope bench pressed 418 lbs. to take his first of two gold medals at the 2009 World Police & Fire Games held in British Columbia, Canada. Pope, who turns 51 in October, is a Master Deputy Sheriff and 20 year veteran of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. Competing in the age 50-54 super heavyweight (weigh over 275 lbs.) category, his bench press shattered the previous record of 352 lbs. Three days later he won his second gold medal in the push/pull contest by bench pressing 423.5 lbs. and dead lifting 705 lbs. for a combined total weight of 1,127.5 lbs. All three were also world records for his age and weight class.
In 2007, Pope competed in his first World Police & Fire Games held in Adelaide, Australia. There he won the gold medal in the push/pull contest and the silver medal in the bench press contest.
“During the games in 2007 and 2009, the friendships I made were priceless and the support was unbelievable,” said Pope. “I’m looking forward to competing again in 2011.”
“We are very proud of Jim and his accomplishments,” said Sheriff Stan Barry. “His athletic excellence epitomizes the spirit of the games.”
Held biennially, the World Police & Fire Games is the second largest international athletic competition in the world. More than 10,000 public safety personnel from over 60 countries participate in more than 65 sporting events.
Fairfax County won the bid over Toronto-Ontario and Winnipeg-Manitoba to host the 2015 games. Past host cities include Memphis, Melbourne (Australia), Stockholm, and Barcelona.