By Sharon Robb
CHENGDU, China, August 8, 2019—Jennifer Martin of South Florida Aquatic Club will make her international swimming debut in the 18th Chengdu 2019 World Police and Fire Games Friday through Sunday.
The City of Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant will compete in five individual events and four relays over three days at the Tian Fu Sports Area.
On Friday, Martin, 38, will swim the 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly and 200-meter women’s freestyle relay.
The swimming event is divided into two sessions. Martin will swim three events a day.
Her remaining events are the 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter freestyle, 200-meter medley relay, mixed 200-meter free relay and 200-meter medley relay. She will also compete in the 2-mile open water swim on Aug. 15 at the Jintang Triathlon venue.
“As far as China, I am beyond impressed,” Martin wrote on her Facebook page. “Security is very tight everywhere. I had to bring my passport and register with the police when I got here, but at no point have I not felt safe. The Chinese people are so welcoming and doing everything to make me comfortable. Thank you again everyone for all the support. I’m not really sure how I had the courage to do this, but I am so glad that I’m here.”
Martin is at her optimum fitness and competitive level. In June, she tuned up at the U.S. Police & Fire Championships in San Diego where she won nine gold medals in individual and relay events and broke two meet records over 2.5 hours at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. It was the second consecutive year Martin had won nine gold medals at the meet.
Martin started training seriously a year ago for Chengdu.
“I took my fitness to another level,” she said. She shaved three minutes off her 5K time and started eating healthier while baking brownies and peach cobbler for her work mates.
“Many hours of hard work, sacrifice and overcoming obstacles,” she said. “Hoping that all translates to some fast wins and success in Chengdu.”
The World Police & Fire Games are held every two years. The 2021 World Police and Fire Games are July 30-August 8 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.
Martin is sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association)and Toyota of North Miami. Several family members and friends also donated to her Blue To Chengdu Go Fund Me.
The World Police and Fire Games is a worldwide sporting event held every two years with more than 10,000 attendees. The games are an Olympic-style competition of policemen and firefighters from 70 countries across the world who compete in 60 sports.
Participants can be police officers and firefighters from correction, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs from any country in the world.
More than 6,200 volunteers are working the Games. Longtime actor Jackie Chan is the Ambassador for the 18th World Police & Fire Games.
As the capital of the Sichuan Province and a key southwestern city, Chengdu is an important center for high-tech industry, trade, logistics, and transportation. Being an attractive tourist destination, mostly due to its abundant panda populations, Chengdu is listed on the national registry of historical and cultural cities and won the Best Tourist City award by the World Tourism Organization and the China National Tourism Administration. Additionally, it is recognized by UNESCO as a “City of Gastronomy” and it won the title of “World Excellent Tourist Destination City” by the World Centre of Excellence for Destination (an international organization which promotes sustainable tourism practices).
Chengdu is also one of the best places in China, and thus the world, to see the famous Giant Panda. Within the city, visitors can spend an entire day with them at the Panda Breeding and Research Base, and just a two-hour ride outside the city, there is the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base. Visitors can see all ages of Pandas, sometimes including newborns, and can also get up-close and personal with them.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org