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WORLD POLICE & FIRE GAMES TO BE HELD IN ASIA
The eighteenth World Police & Fire Games will call police and fire athletes to Asia for the very first time. Chengdu, Sichuan, China will play host to the Games for ten days during the summer of 2019. Events will begin August 8 and conclude with the closing ceremonies on August 18.
Having just returned from my second trip to Chengdu, I can say that China will challenge your opinions and far exceed your expectations. Chengdu is the capital of China’s Sichuan Province. Located in what is known as “western” China, it is China’s fifth largest city with a growing population of nearly 20 million people. Chengdu is closer to India and the Himalayas than to Beijing. Located in south-central China, it enjoys a mild climate. Known for its spicy “Hot Pot” cuisine, the region is home to the endangered giant panda. The city is large and expansive, with hundreds if not thousands of high-rise apartment buildings where most people live. The area has been inhabited for nearly 4,000 years, with ancient temples and parts of the old city still standing. Speaking of the people, they are extrem ely nice and accommodating. In fact, my wife and I were treated like celebrities on many occasions when we left the hotel! With very few westerners in the city, the people of Chengdu were curious about us and eager to engage us in conversation. They were quick to laugh and even quicker to smile.
Travel to China requires a valid passport, letter of invitation, and entry Visa. This requires little money and limited effort to obtain. Air travel is easy from Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Recently, airfare was around $800 round trip. Hotels in Chengdu were very affordable; in most cases they were comparable or less than Indianapolis. The host hotel, the Intercontinental Century City, is five-star and would be the ideal locale to enjoy both the sights and the Games. A more affordable option is student housing that is extremely nice for $50 a day including three meals.
I would encourage you to plan now to attend the Games in Chengdu next year. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions. What better excuse to travel to Asia and explore a vast, exciting, and culturally opposite place from Indianapolis.
James A. King
Director; World Police & Fire Games Federation