The International Police Winter Games were started in 1986, when a couple of cops thought they could find gold, sliver and bronze in the snows of the High Sierra mountains of California. They got together and formed the IPWG and opened the competition to any sworn officer in good standing, current or retired. That first year, 130 police officers raced for the coveted medals. Ten years later officers came from Japan, Australia, England, New Zealand, Austria and Canada to join their counterparts in the USA to participate in ice hockey, alpine and nordic ski events, hoping to take a medal back to their respective departments. From March 7 to 11, 150 officers from all over the world will be in Whistler for the International Police Winter Games, with Whistler RCMP officers acting as hosts and sherpas. The ski races will include a slalom on the Upper Dave Murray, a giant slalom on Raven, and a super G on Panorama. Competitors will race in separate men’s and women’s divisions. Racers will also be grouped according to age, although top ski racers compete in an elite category, regardless of age. The five age groups are: senior, 21-29; veterans, 30-39; masters, 40-49; grand masters, 50-59; and golden masters 60 and older. Once placed in an age group, skiing ability is determined through a seeding race, held on the Upper Dave Murray. A family race and a snowboard competition will take place on March 7. Whistler RCMP public liaison officer Cliff Carter, a retired RCMP officer, competed in the first IPWG in Lake Tahoe in 1986, where he picked up a bronze medal in the super G. In 1996, he competed again in the same location and won gold in the masters GS and super G. The hockey camp segment of the IPWG will be hosted at Meadow Park Sports Centre. Twelve teams will compete in four qualifying games to determine eligibility for the finals, March 11. Monday, March 8, there will be an opening ceremony and a parade through the Village. Every officer will bring a dress uniform and a flag from their region. Spectators are invited to watch all of the IPWG events.