Monday, July 15, 2024

Rotorua cop named World CrossFit games top dog

Rotorua Police Dog Handler, Tyson Ripia has proved he’s not just a formidable opponent for suspects on the run – swapping the streets of Rotorua for the CrossFit gym and taking out the top spot in the World Police and Fire Games in CrossFit.

The 32-year-old of Ngāi Tūhoe/Te-Whānau-ā-Apanui iwi won gold in the Men’s 30-34 category at the Games in Winnipeg, Canada, last month following on from his victory at the Australasian Police & Emergency Services (APES) Games in Rotorua earlier this year.

Held biennially, the World Police and Fire Games is an Olympic-style competition with more than 8500 athletes from more than 50 countries, representing Police, law enforcement and firefighters.

For Tyson, it marks the end of a long preparation of juggling work with training up to four hours a day in the gym in the leadup to the global competition.

“I definitely had the goal of going over there and not just being a number. My goal was to podium, ideally first, but wherever I was on the podium I would have been happy,” he says.

While Tyson’s always had an interest in fitness and physical activity, he followed his brother into CrossFit about 10 years ago, with the aim of being “bigger” than his big bro.

“We got into it at the same time. He always used to beat me,” he says.

Fair to say with his new world champ status, Tyson probably has the upper hand now.

“I really enjoyed the training, but it was at least three times a day, five or six days a week. A mix of high-intensity workouts, strength and accessories [exercise performed to supplement and complement the main movements used in a CrossFit workout].”

And he says the fitness level helps with his role on the streets with canine counterpart, Preston (pictured together, below).

“I have to be fit for the job. Working with a dog you have to have a good amount of concentration and Preston is a very high drive dog – he demands a lot.”

Tyson also attributes his success to his core training whānau- GYB (Got Your Back) – pushing him on under coach Tukiterangi Curtis. The benefit of having a coach, following a training programme and having a solid group of training partners paid off at the competition.

“It showed me the value of having Tuki as a mentor and fellow GYB athletes who pushed me beyond my limits,” he says

“We are all dedicated to the success of one another.”

Tyson says the competition – while not at World CrossFit Games level – was still tough, with skilled athletes across a range of different sports.

He admits to being a bit intimidated when first entering the competition floor, but says his focus fell on performing to the best of his ability.

“You can’t go over there and expect to be better than someone or something you can’t control. You’ve just got to focus and believe in your own abilities.

“You have to be able to perform well across multiple disciplines. You never know what is going to happen and have to expect the unexpected.”

The five workouts Tyson had to complete were released at various times before the event, with the last two workouts only being released the night before the final day. So, while he was able to prepare for some, others were unknown.

“It’s a challenge. You just have to strategise and give the best you can give, trust the process and the training that was done.

“You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable to best prepare you for the unknown.”

Latest Articles