Golden effort for CBSA officer - Aug. 15, 2013
Jeff Pollock has gone to the World Police and Fire Games twice. Both times, he’s come back with a broken bone. This time, he came back with a gold medal as well.
Mercifully, this latest broken bone came at a much better time for Pollock. In his first World Police and Fire Games in 2005 in Quebec City, he broke a bone in his foot in his first match, ending his hopes of winning.
This year in Ireland, he fractured one of the metacarpal bones in his right hand, but the timing was much better.
“It happened with about 20 seconds left in my final fight,” said Pollock, who is a head coach and Master of The MP Taekwondo Team in Charlotte County. Fighting for the gold medal against Chris Noije Van of the Netherlands, the injury came while defending a flurry of strong kicks on his way to victory.
“I had a hand that looked like a balloon for about four days.”
The blocks were just part of an effort in the final match that led him to a 7-6 victory and the peak of the podium. While he’s still waiting for X-ray results, Pollock said his doctor is fairly confident he’s dealing with a fracture. It’s an injury Pollock is more than happy to have sustained.
“It’s been quite a high since it’s been over. I’d take two broken hands to re-do it.”
Pollock, a sixth dan black belt, has been involved in Taekwondo for 30 years. This, he said, is the pinnacle of his accomplishments in the discipline.
“This would be the top for me, the pinnacle. I’ve been to the U.S. Open, involving international players, but this was the time in my career that was meant to happen.”
Minutes after his victory, the results of his victory in the Kyorugi-style, male over 80 kg class were posted online. From there, congratulations have been constant.
“From the moment they found out the results, I was getting messages and texts congratulating me,” said Pollock. “It was a nice warm welcome coming back.”
Of course, the first congratulations came from those directly involved, the people who Pollock said really made his victory possible.
It started with Jordan French, his coach, who travelled to Ireland with Pollock and was ringside for the victory. Soon afterward, congratulations came in from Pat Foley, his trainer. Before travelling to Ireland, Foley designed and helped implement a training program that put Pollock in the right physical and mental state for victory. From there, his family, who have been with Pollock during his journey through Taekwondo, were also very congratulatory.
While winning was amazing for Pollock, the trip to Ireland was also a great experience. Perhaps the greatest part of that experience for the Canadian Border Services Agent is getting to meet so many people who dedicate their lives to protecting others.
“That is the one thing that separates this game from the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, everyone has more than one thing in common,” said Pollock. “Everybody is in service to help people, that’s what makes it so special in my mind ... I met a lot of good friends I’ll be keeping in touch with, lots of fellow officers.”
The World Police and Fire Games are held every two years. The next games in 2015 will be held in Fairfax, Virginia, and the following games in Montreal. With the next games so close, Pollock admits that it makes it tempting to return to the competition, although he has another year or so to make that decision.
Right now, he’s just enjoying the afterglow of a gold medal. Fractured bone or no, he wouldn’t change a thing about his trip to Ireland.