Pinecrest police officers Robert Noyer and Phil Martin brought home 10 gold medals and finished in third place overall in the 2012 Florida Police and Fire Games swimming competition held recently in upstate Sebastian.
Although Officer Martin broke his pinky toe right after the warm-up swim and Officer Noyer had only just begun swimming competitively after a four- decade break, it did not hinder the team’s record-breaking performance. Each offi- cer also won the overall best rank by securing the “High Point Trophy” for their respective age group.
Since 1985, the Police Olympics or Law Games have been held each June for three weeks along the coast of Florida.
Approximately 5,000 competitors rep- resent over 200 different agencies to com- pete in more than 45 Olympic-style sport- ing events. To qualify, candidates must be full-time or retired law enforcement, fire- fighters, military or correctional officers.
“It’s quite an experience and every sport you can think of is represented,” said Noyer. “Basketball, football, marks- manship, bowling; it’s a lot of fun, you can bring the whole family and the healthy competition is good for you.”
Noyer competed in the 61-years-old- and-over category and broke a state record in the 100-yard free style swim. He also came in first place in the 50-yard free style, 25-yard free style and 50-yard butterfly.
Officer Martin is in the 18-to-29-year- old age group and just completed his sixth consecutive year at the games.
“The friendly camaraderie is great,” said Martin. “You get to build relationships with other cops and firefighters around the state in a fun competitive setting.” Martin won the gold in the 25-yard freestyle, the 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard backstroke and 50-yard butterfly. He and his team also won the 200- yard freestyle and 200-yard-medley relay.
A competitive athlete since he began swimming in tournaments at six years old, Martin managed to get his broken toe taped up and still win the competition.
“I slipped on the floor of the locker room right before changing into my racing suit and heard the pop. I knew it was broken, but didn’t think it would look so bad.”
The firefighters were all busy competing, so a lifeguard taped it up tight and the show went on.
“It made it more difficult to push off the starting blocks and did affect my times. When I had to kick I could only use one leg because the pain was too much otherwise.”
A defensive tackle for the Florida Atlantic University Owls before earning his criminal justice degree in 2006, the 29-year-old Martin apparently can handle the pain. His training program consists primarily of run- ning, weightlifting, and some swimming. He just completed his first half-marathon in January, the Super Spartan eight-mile obsta-cle course in February, along with a recent marathon relay.
Noyer started with the Pinecrest police force in 2004 at 53 years old after a long career with Fed Ex. He works the midnight shift and gets up at noon to swim at Tamiami Park Pool for an hour three times a week.
“My health has improved so much since I started swimming again,” he said. “I lost 50 pounds and my blood pressure and cho- lesterol have dropped. Competing has been a nice outlet to get me healthy and exercis- ing regularly.”
The 2013 Florida Police and Fire Games will be held in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, go to www.lawgames.org.