He may be nearing 60 years old, but Gary Huizar won’t stop competing in track and field any time soon.
An Elk Grove resident and Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy for 30 years, the now-retired peace officer won a gold medal in all six events he entered at the U.S. Police and Fire Championships at UC – San Diego, June 21 and 22.
The event started in 1967 as the California Police Olympics and in the early 90’s added firemen to its competition. Now it’s grown to a week-long affair featuring current and retired peace officers and firefighters from all over the country who compete in 55 different individual and team sports.
Huizar has competed in the Police and Fire Championships the past few years as a member of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department baseball team.
|Retired Sheriff's Deputy Gary Huizar|
wearing his six gold medals
“After about our fourth loss last year, I decided I wanted to try something else,” Huizar said.
That’s when he dedicated himself to working out at his local gym six days a week, lifting weights and running on the treadmill. Despite some tendinitis in his Achilles’ tendons on both legs, Huizar kept working.
“Why use it up now? So go,” his friends encouraged him.
Huizar also did speed training frequently on the track at Elk Grove High School to get ready for the big event.
The result of all that focused work showed at the Championships two weeks ago. In his age group he not only won the gold medal in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter runs, but Huizar also won in the 2000 meter steeplechase. He bested the previous year’s gold medal times in all events, even a full minute faster in the 800 meters.
“I thought I could win a gold in a couple races and perhaps have a couple seconds and third, but I lowered every time. That made me proud,” he said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department team watched him run and, needing another man to run in the 4X400 meter relay, they asked Huizar to join them for that event. They took first place so Huizar earned his sixth gold medal.
Huizar isn’t done running, either. He’s been asked to be a part of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 4x400 meter relay team and next month will join them in the Nevada Police and Fire Olympics. Huizar plans on also competing in the 400, 800 and 1500 meter runs.
“I will continue this,” Huizar predicts. “It won’t be easy, but we’ll see what happens.”
When he isn’t running track, Huizar will continue to play regularly in the Sacramento Men’s Baseball League. He’s on a team with players that are age 50 and older.
“I’m always encouraging other (police) retirees to stay healthy,” he said.