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Stair Race - World Police and Fire Games - 6/27/2015

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ATHLETE PROFILE : Clara Irurita, Soccer

Posted by on in Road To The Games

b2ap3_thumbnail_clara-profile.JPGThere are only a few weeks left until the 2015 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG), hosted by Fairfax County, V.A., will hold its opening ceremonies on Friday, June 26 at RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C. With an estimated 12,000 law enforcement and fire service personnel from around the globe traveling to the Washington, D.C. region, many will arrive through either Washington Dulles International Airport or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Not only will these be the arrival sites of many of the World Police and Fire Games participants, the airports have eleven Public Safety officials who volunteered as representatives to compete in the games.

One of the competitors in the 2015 WPFG is Clara Irurita, an Airports Authority Firefighter at Washington Dulles International Airport. Irurita is a member of the women’s outdoor soccer team comprised of 11 female athletes from Police and Fire departments in surrounding jurisdictions. Although these first responders may have different jobs professionally, on the field they are all part of a team that seamlessly communicates and coordinates each play leading to wins and a great team spirit.

Irurita’s philosophy is that there needs to be a steady flow of information between everyone in order to achieve a given objective. She believes this applies in the sport of soccer and with her team, the U.S. Capitol Police Alliance, specifically.

“If we are not focused on the game or communicating to one another there is a greater chance that we would not have a good team dynamic and achieve any success on the field,” Irurita said.

As the Games approach, Irurita looks forward to the great team atmosphere and cohesiveness that leads to winning soccer matches. Despite being the only firefighter on a team of police officers, Clara recognizes that she’s part of a community, which shares the common goal of representing the U.S. during the World Police and Fire Games.

Serving as a firefighter for more than 8 years, Clara Irurita, 31, joined Station 302 at Dulles International Airport only recently, in 2014. Although, she is a newcomer to the Airports Authority, Irurita is not new to the field of athletic competition, especially in the soccer arena. Clara first began playing soccer as a child at a local park with kids in her neighborhood.  Then, she began playing competitively at the age of 14 and continued the sport while she attended college.

After 20 years of experience on the soccer field, Clara is ready to play in the WPFG as a right forward.

“This is truly an incredible opportunity to represent the nation’s capital on an international level through a sport that I have so much passion for,” said Irurita.

For Irurita and her teammates, competing on the international soccer stage brings the added challenge of facing a high level of competition from experienced teams from around the world.

Irurita is determined to not only be prepared but be in the best shape possible; she and her U.S. Capitol Police Alliance teammates are training 6 days a week and competing in soccer matches 5 days per week. In total, the team has been practicing together for 6 months.

Irurita and her teammates have learned to balance their intense training schedule with their jobs as emergency responders, which is made easier through the support of their colleagues.

“The people I work with at the Airports Authority have been very supportive, they even take time from their busy schedules to train with me each week.” she said.

Airports Authority Fire Chief Gary Mesaris is one of her biggest supporters and will be at the Games cheering for Irurita and her team.

“Since joining the Airports Authority, Clara has always shown an impressive work ethic that makes us proud to have her as part of our team at Washington Dulles International Airport,” Mesaris said. “Clara’s strong dedication and passion for her sport makes her a great participant for the World Police and Fire Games.”

Irurita recognizes that the Games are more than just about the winning for her, and she is excited to represent the U.S. as the hosts of the games. She hopes to inspire other young women to enter the field of public safety and consider competing internationally in the Games in the future – maybe as early as the 2017 Games, set to take place in Montreal, Canada, or the 2019 Games in Sichuan, China.

Athletes traveling through Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on their way to or from the 2015 World Police and Fire Games are invited to visit special welcome booths on the baggage claim level to receive a free gift, while supplies last, and pick up information about the region.


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Gypsy Soul Restaurant to Host Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser to Benefit World Police & Fire Games in Fairfax 2015

Posted by on in Press Releases

~Chef Rj Cooper vs. Fairfax County Firemen~

(FAIRFAX, VA) March 2015 – In anticipation of the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games, ~Gypsy Soul~ (8296 Glass Alley; Fairfax, VA, 22031; 703.992.0933; is hosting firemen of various Fairfax County firehouses to go up against James Beard award-winning Chef RJ Cooper in a chili cook-off battle event.  Each Monday beginning March 2nd, and ending March 30th, firehouses have a chance to raise money benefitting this biennial athletic event, open to active and retired law enforcement and fire service personnel throughout the world.

Located in the Mosaic District in the Merrifield neighborhood of Fairfax, Virginia, ~Gypsy Soul~ is centrally located for the Games’ approximate 12,000 entrants (slightly more than the Summer Olympic Games) and 5,000 volunteers and is also a supporter of Fairfax 2015. 

“I have profound respect for first responders.  The bravery they perform daily is priceless. As a cook, I have heard about these amazing firehouse cooks, and well, let’s just say challenge on!  Chili is like pizza – it’s all deeply personal and let’s see who comes out of the fire!” says Chef Cooper in response to the weekly battle throwdown.

The launch date of this battle royal is March 2nd.  Each team, Chef RJ Cooper vs. a Fairfax County Fireman, will prepare 50 portions to serve at both lunch and dinner service at ~Gypsy Soul~.  Guests receive two bowls of chili along with a ballot for $10.  The votes are tallied at the end of the day and the winner is announced the following morning via social media.  Customers must buy the chili in order to vote.  First come, first served and firemen will be on hand to discuss the Games and chili cook-off throughout the weeks.  If the firehouse wins, the Games receive 100% of the chili revenue from that day.  If Chef wins, they receive 50% - the stakes are high!  The Firehouse to receive the most votes receives a pig roast by Chef Cooper.

“This partnership is an example of the type of excitement the 2015 World Police & Fire Games are bringing to this community,” states Bill Knight, President and CEO of Fairfax 2015, Inc., the organizing committee for the Games.  “We are excited to work with Chef RJ Cooper and his team to promote the Games and provide a platform for Fairfax County Firefighters to showcase their culinary skills!”

To further the stakes, each Monday is a different chili style.
March 2nd:  Red Chili
March 9th:  Chili Verde
March 16th: Vegetarian Chili
March 23rd:  Venison Chili
March 30th:  Turkey Chili

About Award-Winning Chef RJ Cooper

Chef RJ Cooper is a Detroit native who’s resume spans over 20 years in some of the top kitchens in the U.S.  A graduate of The Culinary School at Kendall College in Chicago, he has worked with esteemed colleagues including Jean Joho, Tony Mantuano, Daniel Schaffhauser, Guenter Seeger, Eric Ripert, and Jeff Buben.  Chef was honored in 2007 by the James Beard Foundation with the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award for his work at Vidalia in Washington, DC.  The host of the online television series “Chefs of Anarchy” and Iron Chef America battle chef, Cooper owns Rogue 24 in Washington, D.C., a restaurant where his passion and love for the culinary craft, paired with old and new world technique, and laced with a bit of rock and roll form this three-star adventure in dining.  ~Gypsy Soul~ in Fairfax, Virginia, is his second restaurant and features his devotion to the American farmer through life at the table.  He is an active member in many local and national non-profits focusing on hunger, children and local community.  Cooper resides in McLean, Virginia, with his wife, Judy, and twin daughters, Bridgette and Ava, and is often seen on his Harley-Davidson with hair blowin’ in the wind seeking out the next great ingredient to his cooking.

Media Relations:
Bronwyn Jimenez
Gypsy Soul
Tel. 202.288.4049

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