Firefighting teams from many countries will test their skills, speed and agility, Source: CTIF

Celje will host the Firefighting Olympics 2022

Celje will host the Firefighting Olympics 2022

We bet you didn’t know that fire fighting was an actual Olympic sports discipline at the turn of the 20th century

The Slovenian city of Celje is gearing up to welcome the 2022 Firefighting Olympics from 17 to 24 July. The event, which will celebrate its 17th edition, is expected to gather about 3,000 competitors from at least 29 countries.

The competition (formally known as International Fire Brigade Competitions) was supposed to be held back in 2020, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. In 2021, it was cancelled again to ongoing concerns over Covid-19 and due to restrictions on travelling and large gatherings. This year, however, it is all set to go.

Meanwhile, wildfire season is already upon us

Coincidentally, parts of Europe, such as Portugal and Italy are currently experiencing heavy wildfires due to the severe drought and heatwaves that have spread over Southern Europe in the past weeks. These disasters emphasized the need for expert and well-trained firefighters. They also show how this profession is only likely to grow in importance when it comes to safeguarding our environment, property and lives.

Firefighting competitions are not only part of the educational process and testing of the preparedness of units, but they are also an excellent method to acquire young staff.

The 2022 Firefighters Olympics will involve both adult and youth firefighters and is, therefore, an event which is expected to draw large crowds of spectators. The Games are as always organized by the International Association of Fire Services (CTIF), whose representatives from Germany, Austria and Italy have been working closely with the organisers in Celje to secure venues and accommodation capacities.

The very first Firefighters Olympic Games were held in 1961 in Bad Godesberg on the Rhine, in Germany. Even that very first edition was quite successful as it attracted 51 teams from 11 nations. Only European cities have hosted the competitions, so far.

Firefighting as a competitive sport, however, stretches even further back. Curiously, it was a sports discipline during the II Summer Olympic Games in Paris in 1900. The Games featured two categories – professionals and volunteers. For the pros, it was the Kansas City Fire Brigade (USA) that won the gold, and the volunteer firemen of Porto (Portugal) won the same medal in their category.



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