22 Nov 2014

World Police and Fire Games - History and List of Armwrestling Gold Medalists


The World Police and Fire Games are an international, biennial athletic event, open to active and retired police officers, firefighters, customs and corrections officers from all over the world. It is the world’s second largest multi-sport event, typically attracting in excess of 10,000 participants. Only the Summer Olympics attracts a larger field of competitors.

The concept for the World Police and Fire Games evolved from the California Police Olympics, which were first held in 1967. The Police Olympics were founded by San Diego Police Lieutenant Veon “Duke” Nyhus who recognized the need to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among members of the law enforcement community. The Police Olympics were such a success that they became on annual event. In 1983, work began to create a similar event, but on a global scale. The inaugural World Police and Fire Games were held in San Jose, California, in 1985.

One of the more than 65 sports contested at the Games is armwrestling. In fact, armwrestling has been part of the Games since the very beginning. The sport was first included in the California Police Olympics way back in 1972. Though unconfirmed, the sport’s addition was likely inspired by the growing attention armwrestling had been receiving since the Petaluma World Wristwrestling Championship first began airing on national television in the early ‘70s.

Originally, the sport was referred to as “arm wrestling”, however this was changed to “wrist wrestling” in 1993. It continues to be called “wrist wrestling” to this day. However, it is believed that armwrestling rules have always been used.

From 1985 through to 2009, only the right arm was contested. This finally changed in 2011, when an open left handed division was added.

The number of weight classes has increased slightly in recent years, and there are four age-based divisions: Open (open to all, but designed for competitors 18 to 29 years of age), Senior (for competitors 30 years of age or older), Master (for competitors 40 years of age or older), and Grand Master (for competitors 50 years of age or older). Competitors may only compete in one division.

The majority of competitors who take part are not competitive armwrestlers. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions. The most successful competitor in World Police Fire and Games armwrestling history is Robert Viens, a firefighter from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has won six gold medals at the games between 1991 and 2011. Robert was a competitive armwrestler in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, with Canadian National and North American titles to his credit.

A handful of other competitive armrwrestlers have also won gold medals at the Games, including American Mike Ayello, Canadians Ryan Espey, Kayne Hemsing, and Bernie Walker, and Russian Vladimir Stepanov.

The following tables feature the complete list competitors who have won gold medals in armwrestling at the World Police and Fire Games, from 1985 to present.

Men’s Right - 150 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
Argirios Karydes
Syu-Heng Hao
Javier Romero
Sergei Zelgin
2011
R. Ibensadiken Benmhanded
Argirios Karydes
--
--
2009
J-H. Chen
Syu-Heng Hao
Serik Nurgaliyev
C. Carter
2007
--
--
Serik Nurgaliyev
--
2005
--
Serik Nurgaliyev
--
--
2003
--
--
--
--
2001
T. Melanson
N. Meneghini
--
T. Carney
1999
R. Kalin
J. MacKenzie
N. Meneghini
--
1997
S. Fiset
J. MacKenzie
N. Meneghini
B. Nunziata
1995
--
M. Yeoh
--
--
1993
G. Calderon
A. Louie
R. Almas
--
1991
B. Reeves
R. Wilson
--
--
1989
J. McCune
T. Hughes
E. Cottman
--
1987
G. Calderon
J. McCune
Anthony Ezzo
--
1985
D. Stafford
J. McCune
--
--


Men’s Right - 175 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
Marek Kobakhidze
Tero Heino
Lorenzo Eugenio Lisi
Sergey Bakin
2011
Samuel Sutak
M. Cruz
Jocelyn Durimel
L. Hotchkiss
2009
A. Mathison
T. Melanson
S. Ali
Sergey Bakin
2007
--
D. Popov
A. Dupont
M. Ottosson
2005
L. Marin
J. Estevez
R. Rossiter
M. Ottosson
2003
--
R. Kalin
D. Bennett
K. Katagiri
2001
K. Ryan
M. Chevtchouk
J. Leimbach
K. Katagiri
1999
T. Morrisson
M. Chevtchouk
E. Furutani
K. Katagiri
1997
V. LaCava
D. Trowbridge
K. Katagiri
L. Zimmerman
1995
K. Meadows
D. Trowbridge
R. Ellis
--
1993
J. Malek-Madani
B. Violetto
--
--
1991
C. Lee
B. Violetto
J. Shaw
--
1989
D. Horton
B. Violetto
L. Zimmerman
--
1987
B. Violetto
J. Cervantes
J. Avery
E. Williams
1985
R. Brown
--
R. Gundersen
E. Williams


Men’s Right - 200 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
--
Andy Gorringe
Sami Vanne
Bernie Walker
2011
Sami Vanne
Kayne Hemsing
E. Padilla
--
2009
Miroslav Sin
Kayne Hemsing
Bernie Walker
F. de Espana
2007
--
M. Shevchuk
Bernie Walker
S. Marcoux
2005
--
Kayne Hemsing
D. Kimber
--
2003
--
B. Adams
Bernie Walker
--
2001
A. Milo
T. Mackie
G. Scarazzini
--
1999
--
M. Stalgevichs
D. Kimber
S. Holstein
1997
T. Barrow
P. Knightly
R. Donison
W. Witeczek
1995
B. Croft
T. Glazier Jr.
F. Stockton
G. Labelle
1993
D. Lowe
T. Mackie
S. Gurnick
J. Wallace
1991
Robert Viens
M. Thomson
W. Asad
G. Labelle
1989
J. Cameron
M. Thomson
R. Emerton
G. Labelle
1987
J. Sareli
T. Halpin
W. Manger
--
1985
J. Sareli
A. Threets
W. Manger
--


Men’s Right - 225 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
Tengiz Edilashvili
Thomas Kiss
Gela Gelashvili
Thomas Faltsjo
2011
Jim Bryan
Thomas Kiss
--
Haraldur Hlodversson
2009
--
W. Taylor
C. Lautermilch
Haraldur Hlodversson
2007
--
V. Osipov
N. Kondakov
--
2005
R. Grover
P. Tremblay
S. Rodriguez
--
2003
--
J. Vila
--
--


Men’s Right - 250 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
--
Miroslav Sin
Charles Cuffley
--
2011
--
--
Pat Rehill
--
2009
--
W. deMathews Jr.
Pat Rehill
--
2007
--
A. Collado
--
--
2005
--
F. Simard
Vladimir Stepanov
--


Men’s Right - Unlimited
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
--
Askar Zhandarov
--
--
2011
W. deMathews Jr.
Mike Ayello
Robert Viens
G. Firlotte
2009
--
--
Robert Viens
D. Moon
2007
M. McKay
--
S. Rodriguez
--
2005
R. Gott
Askar Zhandarov
Robert Viens
--
2003
--
Mel Terry
--
--
2001
Ryan Espey
C. Avanthay
Mel Terry
Wayne Andrews
1999
J. Karkola
M. Stalgevichs
Mel Terry
Wayne Andrews
1997
M. Brown
Robert Viens
Mel Terry
Wayne Andrews
1995
D. Hughes
M. Laulu
J. McCutchen
J. Hayden
1993
Robert Viens
Mel Terry
Wayne Andrews
R. Simon
1991
J. Pelasara
L. Pesola
Wayne Andrews
--
1989
D. Derouin
R. Mazar
D. Irvin
--
1987
L. McKnight
D. Derouin
H. Baldwin
C. Braxton
1985
L. McKnight
Wayne Andrews
C. Cosce
--


Women’s Right -125 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
Chui Man Wong
Umit Jakisheva
--
--
2011
--
Chui Man Wong
Jacqueline Reid
--
2009
--
R. Ahn
Jacqueline Reid
--
2007
--
--
I. Mozharova
--
2005
F. Shaw
--
--
--
2003
A. Deberna
--
--
--


Women’s Right - 150 lbs and under (152 lbs and under from 1985 to 2003)
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
--
--
Jacqueline Reid
--
2011
--
D. Pichette
L. Stokes
--
2009
D. Pichette
--
C. Copeland
--
2007
A. Shaw
A. Kluzek
J. Timberlake
--
2005
A. Shaw
L. Arnanz
--
--
2003
--
A. Shaw
P. Steadman
--
2001
F. Blackwell
P. Steadman
--
--
1999
I. Vachon
H. Speckmann
--
--
1997
D. Conroy
J. Anderson
--
--
1995
--
--
--
--
1993
J. Saraiva
--
--
--
1991
N. Lewis
--
--
--
1989
--
C. Alton
--
--
1987
--
T. Standart
--
--
1985
S. Moran
C. Shellabarger
--
--


Women’s Right - 175 lbs and under
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
--
--
--
Arioa Popke
2011
--
D. Saunderson
Arioa Popke
--
2009
--
K. Boisjoli
M. Kronberg
C. Delgadillo
2007
--
--
S. Stangl
--
2005
--
J. Elliott
M. Kronberg
--
2003
--
J. Kaufmann
--
--


Women’s Right - Unlimited
Year
Open
(18-29 yrs)
Senior
(30-39 yrs)
Master
(40-49 yrs)
Grand Master
(50+ yrs)
2013
--
--
--
Jo Nelson
2011
--
--
S. Marrow
--
2009
--
P. Desormeau
A. Belczyk
--
2007
--
--
C. Hall
--
2005
--
--
--
--
2003
--
--
C. Hall
--
2001
C. Martin
--
--
--
1999
--
C. Hall
--
--
1997
S. Jarecki
C. Martin
J. Whyte
--
1995
C. Martin
--
--
--
1993
--
--
--
--
1991
K. Benson
S. Hanscom
--
--
1989
--
M. Barnet
--
--
1987
J. Gray
--
--
--
1985
M. Barnet
--
--
--


Men’s Left Open
Weight Class
2011
2013
150 lbs and under
--
Syu-Heng Hao
175 lbs and under
Samuel Sutak
Marek Kobakhidze
200 lbs and under
Kayne Hemsing
Sami Vanne
225 lbs and under
Jim Bryan
Tengiz Edilashvili
250 lbs and under
Pat Rehill
Levan Saginashvilli
Unlimited
Ryan Espey
Askar Zhandarov


Women’s Left Open
Weight Class
2011
2013
150 lbs and under
--
Jacqueline Reid
175 lbs and under
A. Godin
--
Unlimited
--
Jo Nelson


Host Cities:

1985 – San Jose, California, USA
1987 – San Diego, California, USA
1989 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1991 – Memphis, Tennessee, USA
1993 – Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
1995 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1997 – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1999 – Stockholm, Sweden
2001 – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
2003 – Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
2005 – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
2007 – Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2009 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2011 – New York, New York, USA
2013 – Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
2015 – Fairfax, Virginia, USA
2017 – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2019 – Chengdu, Sichuan, China


Researched by Eric Roussin


Copyright Eric Roussin, AHC, Armwrestlers ONLY - No part of this text may be reproduced without written consent from the author.

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