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A Long-Running San Diego Tradition

Watch Law Enforcement Officers & Firefighters From Across the Country Square Off in Everything From Paintball to Archery at the U.S. Police & Fire Championships in San Diego.

Join us at the Sofia Hotel this month to watch law-enforcement officers and firefighters from all around the country convene in San Diego for some friendly (but intense) athletic competition.

That’s right: It’s time once again for the U.S. Police & Fire Championships, the 2019 edition of which goes down June 22nd through June 29th all across San Diego County. This “Olympic-style” event has been a fixture of the city for more than a half-century, and you couldn’t ask for better boutique accommodations in Downtown San Diego for the occasion than the historic Sofia!

The U.S. Police & Fire Championships: A Long-Running San Diego Tradition

A lieutenant (and later deputy chief) of the San Diego Police Department, Veon “Duke” Nyhus, established what would become the U.S. Police & Fire Championships in 1967 by founding the California Police Olympics.

As the official U.S. Police & Fire Championships website explains, “Duke formulated the idea of the Police Olympics and created the competition with an eye towards promoting physical fitness and sport as a means for officers to improve their overall fitness, reduce stress, and increase their professional abilities.”

The California Police Olympics proved an immediate success. In 1990, they officially became the California Police Summer Games. A decade later, the inclusion of firefighters prompted the name to shift again, this time to the California Police & Fire Games; in 2012, the event officially became the U.S. Police & Fire Championships by welcoming contestants from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Duke’s creation has not only inspired similar events in other countries, but inspired the launch of the World Police & Fire Games in the early 1980s, which are held every other year in different nations. The record-breaking 2011 World Police & Fire Games in New York City saw better than 16,000 athletes representing close to 70 countries compete. Upcoming World Police & Fire Games venues include Chengdu, China this year, Rotterdam in The Netherlands in 2021, and Winnipeg, Canada in 2023.

The Games

Law enforcement and firefighters compete in some 50 different sports during the U.S. Police & Fire Championships at sports facilities and playing fields all around San Diego County, and they cover a lot of athletic territory. The weeklong games include basketball, softball, archery, ice hockey, water polo, tennis, dodgeball, marksmanship, triathlon, bench press—even billiards, horseshoes, paintball, bowling, and cornhole!

You can check out the full list of competitions as well as their dates and venues right here

Enjoy the Head-to-Head Action at the 2019 U.S. Police & Fire Championships on a Sofia Hotel Getaway in Downtown San Diego

The competitions making up the U.S. Police & Fire Championships are free for spectators, and needless to say it’s all pretty darn exciting, whether the sport in question is pickleball, soccer, or flag football.

If you’re planning on attending some of the games—or perhaps you’re among the law-enforcement or firefighting personnel competing—we invite you to call the Sofia Hotel here on West Broadway in Downtown San Diego your perfectly situated, meticulously maintained home away from home for the affair!