Blog posts tagged in spotlight

ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Jon Haase, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_spotlight-jonhaas-1.jpg“Pinch me” is what Jon Haase will say if you ask about his experience with former World Police and Fire Games. “I was lucky enough to be paired with one of the best officers I've ever met AND came away with the ultimate prize!” Jon says when I asked him to describe his golf partner, Retired Officer Pete Lucas.

Jon has competed in FOUR World Police & Fire Games: Adelaide, Vancouver B.C., NYC and Belfast, as well as the 2008, 2012 and 2014 U.S. Police and Fire Games.  Jon was quick to mention that the most notable aspect of the Games involves the camaraderie of the athletes, the welcoming nature of the local residents and the competition. He still maintains his relationships with Police and Fire members from Finland, Australia, China, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Malaysia and Germany (not to mention the brotherhood of US team members he frequently travels to see during off years). He says “I would never have imagined the level of life enrichment I have experienced had I not seized this opportunity.”

Jon’s first love was not golf, however. Baseball occupied his life as a child and he even attended college on a full ride scholarship for the sport. After several injuries, his dream of playing in the major leagues was no longer possible, and while searching for a replacement sport, golf found its way to him. In the first ten years of golfing, he realized that his competitive streak was back and he began playing in tournaments. Lowering his handicap from 12 to 4, he states “Golf’s true challenge is competing within yourself, not playing against those in the same tournament. When I solely focus on my mechanics and not the score, I can invest myself in enjoying my playing partners while also performing at peak efficiency. A win-win situation!”

Jon is a 24 yr veteran of the Multnomah County Sherriff’s Office, assigned to the Corrections Division and currently a Sergeant, overseeing a staff of 12 to 40 Deputies as they provide a safe and secure environment for our clients.

b2ap3_thumbnail_spotlight-jonhaas-2.jpgJon is no stranger to service, above and beyond his job duties, including overseeing the Sherriff’s Office Honor Guard, managing the Peer Support Team, as well as serving on numerous committees for the betterment of facilities. “Being granted the opportunity to work with and evaluate new recruits is what I am most proud of.  The opportunity to regularly see this career through new eyes, witness their “ah-ha” moments and help them navigate through difficult learning lessons keeps me invigorated.  To know that I have been given the opportunity to pay my blessings forward and make a difference in a person’s development has become my absolute focus and will be how I measure my success here.”

When asked to share a struggle he’s overcome, Jon shared that after ten years of his career, he had begun relying on alcohol to alleviate job related stress. Realizing the toll it was taking on himself and the effects his family was also feeling, he committed himself to the gym a minimum of three times per week and completely stopped consuming any alcohol.  “With the help of several important people in my life I was able to implement and maintain these lifestyle changes.  I am happy to say that 14 years later I am still a gym rat and alcohol free.”

You won’t just find Jon in the gym, at work or on the golf course! He uses every possible minute of each day to the fullest and is an avid fisherman and owner of two boats, who also loves to camp and hike AND enjoys working in his yard! We like this motto: “I firmly believe that the fun one has while outdoors is directly proportional to the number of people you are participating with!”

Jon is consistently looking for ways to improve the lives of those around him and is giving back to others in an effort to pay forward the mentorship he himself was given throughout his life. We will be glad to welcome Jon and his family to Fairfax County for the Games!

On Jon’s MUST SEE list for Fairfax County and the DC Metro area: Most excited to see all of his World Police and Fire brothers and sisters! Jon hasn’t been in the area for over 18 years and is looking forward to experiencing the sites with his family.

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Athlete Spotlight: Tamara Sylvan of the Toronto Fire Services

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_75769_10150292351195389_7971075_n.jpgWhen the Toughest Competitor Alive (TCA) takes center stage at next summer’s World Police & Fire Games, one participant to watch will be a 14-year veteran firefighting mother of three from Toronto, Ontario.

A First Class Firefighter and Shift Training Instructor for Toronto Fire Services, Tamara Sylvan participated in the TCA during the New York Games in 2011.  While she failed to reach the podium, she can take solace in her effort.  “It was a great experience,” she said.  “The competition was fierce --  watch out for those Spanish ladies!  I managed some personal bests but I still have a long way to go before I medal.  I will be pushing extra hard this winter to make sure I come back stronger than I did in 2011.”

One of the most demanding of all the competitions, TCA actually consists of eight events over a single day.  It begins with a 7 a.m. 5K cross country “run from hell,” as Tamara describes it followed by shotput and a 100-meter dash at the track.  Competitors then move to the pool for a 100 meter swim sprint before heading to the gym for a 20-foot, hands-only rope climb followed by bench press and pull-ups.  The competition concludes outdoor with a firefighter/EMT obstacle course which includes a dummy drag, monkey bars and wall climb.

While Toronto Fire sends hundreds of competitors to the Games and several compete in multiple sports, TCA will be Tamara’s only event.  “Trust me when I tell you, one is enough with TCA,” she says.  

The training, Tamara says, is intense.  “For me, it’s incredibly challenging balancing training, three kids, full-time firefighting and owning my own CPR and First Aid company,” she says.  “I am also on the board of directors for The Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive, I teach at Toronto-area colleges and I also need to find some time for hubby who owns his own fitness studio and designs all of my training programs and nutrition.”  

With the games less than 10 months away, Tamara expects to elevate that training in the coming months.  “While most TCA competitors train harder in summer, I have to scale back because my three kids are out of school, so I will be ramping up my training efforts and time significantly this winter. I feel that I am a bit behind in training right now, but we will have to wait and see what happens. I am crossing my fingers that my back and shoulder will hold up!”

For a detailed look at next Summer’s Toughest Competitor Alive event, please visit

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VENUE SPOTLIGHT: Motocross Returns To The Games via Budds Creek

Posted by on in Road To The Games


Welcome to the world-renowned Budds Creek Motocross Park, in beautiful Southern Maryland. Budds Creek is the schedule venue for the return of Motocross to the 2015 World Police & Fire Games.

Nestled in the forest of Southern Maryland, Budds Creek Motocross is a legendary, world-class motocross track. It is a favorite among riders and fans alike, as it offers both great racing lines for the riders and a layout that is ideal for spectators. The Budds Creek track sits in a valley, so viewing is outstanding from many locations around the facility. Its natural terrain and scenic beauty have provided a backdrop for legendary races throughout the years, including the 1999 250cc U.S. Grand Prix in which Kevin Windham beat all of the world championship riders, including ten-time champion Stefan Everts.

On the international stage, Budds Creek hosted the 2007 Motocross of Nations, where a U.S. team made up of Ricky Carmichael, Tim Ferry, and Ryan Villopoto put in one of the most dominant performances in the history of the event, with Villopoto becoming the first rider in the history of the event to win both of his motos on a 125cc/250F machine.



Since 1989, Budds Creek has hosted a Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship event every year, whether it be a 125cc/500cc National, a 125cc/250cc National, or, in the current form, a 250cc/450cc National. It always promises some of the best races of the season.

When not hosting top-level national and international events, Budds Creek also hosts numerous amateur motocross races throughout the year. It's by far the most popular track in AMA District 7, and it is also the Mid Atlantic Motocross Association's home track. Rarely a weekend goes by without racing at Budds Creek. 



Budds Creek is located approximately 1½ hours from Baltimore, 1 hour from downtown Washington, D.C. and approximately 1½ hours from Richmond, VA directly off Maryland Highway 234 in scenic Southern Maryland. For amateur race dates, traffic has never been a problem and all routes are always clear. Pro-National Sunday events brings approximately 20,000 spectators and some minor traffic delays can be expected.

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