Last month, from 27 June to 4 July, Western District Commander Ian Tyzzer, the Juan Antonio Samaranch of the Hong Kong Police, along with co-and-assistant managers Superintendent Lynn Edwards and WSIP Angela Kwok of Sports & Recreation, and a 28-member team of the Force's best athletes hungry for gold flew into the city at the foothills of the Rockies and kicked some rival constabulary gluteus maximus to take home 39 medals in 28 events: 14 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze.
¡@"The opening ceremony was spectacular," recalls Mr Tyzzer. "There's a cultural show put on by each contingent's home country and all continents were represented. Carrying the flag into that was a very nice feeling. Everybody's happy, they've all welcoming you to Calgary, shouting Yahoo! The crowd was Yahooing! at us - and we were Yahooing! back. It was a tremendous atmosphere."
¡@Held every two years and featuring top athletes from the world's disciplined services, the last World Police/Fire Games took place in Melbourne, the next will be played out in Stockholm in 1999. And as evidenced by the heavy coverage in TV and local newspaper sports sections, the standard of competition in Calgary was extremely high. All the medals had to be won - none were given away.
¡@What makes these games different is that alongside all the traditional sports represented, they also include events that are strongly influenced by law enforcement activities such as a SWAT competition, Police Dog trials and "The Toughest Competitor Alive" competition.
¡@What made the Games different for the Force team this time was that they began the event as the Royal Hong Kong Police and ended it as the Hong Kong Police. As such, the HK contingent was saddled with a whole extra dimension as ambassadors not only of the Force but of Hong Kong, China. They did an excellent job.
¡@"Prior to the opening ceremony, we anticipated that there would be a lot of interest in the Hong Kong team because of the handover," recalls Mr Tyzzer." When we arrived at the Calgary Airport, the Canadian edition of Sing Tao newspaper was waiting for us. They wanted a story. The newspapers in Calgary also sought interviews with us, as well as the local TV stations. People were very interested in the handover.
¡@"We didn't think that the organisers would have the new HKSAR flag, so we brought two new flags with us. We were right. I gave the organisers the new flag - which was flown at the stadium on July 1. We used the old flag for the opening ceremony, and the HKSAR flag at the closing one. "
¡@As warm and friendly as the international competitors and Calgarians were, the only disappointing aspect of the Games for the Hong Kong Team was the ignorance of so many (especially the press) as to what was really happening in Hong Kong. The Calgary Police Department even discussed the possibility of members of the team seeking political asylum.
¡@"We had a liaison officer allocated to us from the Calgary Police who was extremely helpful throughout," remembers Mr Tyzzer. "At a convenient point after we arrived he actually asked us what 'officially' our position was - and was anybody likely to want to stay behind?"
¡@The Hong Kong team just looked at the guy in disbelief.
¡@"The press tried their best during our interviews to make the story sensationalist. We had to set the record straight many times," Mr Tyzzer added.
was extremely helpful throughout. At a convenient point after we arrived he actually asked us what 'officially' our position was - and was anybody likely to seek political asylum?"