Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak dusted off her throwing skills and showed that she still has what it takes to finish first when she took home gold medals in both the javelin and shot-put events at the 2022 United States Police & Fire Championships.
Bublak, a retired police officer, competed for the Modesto Police Department at the national event held last week in San Diego.
What began in 1967 as the California Police Olympics is now a nation-wide Olympic-style competition drawing thousands of athletes representing law enforcement, firefighter, emergency medical technician, customs, and correctional officers as well as full time employees (active or retired) of an eligible agency or organization in the capacity of 9-1-1 dispatcher, detention-custodial officer, crime scene investigators or lifeguard, from across the country in more than 50 sports.
It's been 27 years since the last time Bublak competed in the “Police Olympics.”
“With COVID I was challenging myself trying to think of something to get my body moving,” said Bublak.
She started training at a local gym and then was referred to Turlock trainer Jenn Neal with ABC Fitness. Neal said she was coming up with a plan for Bublak when she handed her a Slamball and the trainer was impressed with her throwing skills. It’s then that Bublak let Neal know that she not only was an All-Conference champion in javelin and shot put while at Stanislaus State, she also competed in the Olympic trials in the late 1980s.
That got the wheels in motion and Neal and Bublak set a goal for her to compete in the upcoming Police Olympics, with only 60 days to train. Neal designed a plan with the moves involved with throwing both javelin and shot-put.
“When you have somebody that's highly motivated like her with extreme talent all I had to do was shape it,” said Neal.
Bublak credits Neal with being her motivation to get into competitive shape.
“It’s something different. Just trying to challenge your brain, your body, your spirit. Just making sure you’re always working towards a better you — and a painful sore you the next day,” Bublak said while chuckling about the results of all that training and competing.
Her — sometimes painful — training resulted in a 29.1 meter throw in javelin and a 3.2 meter shot put throw, good enough for the gold.
Bublak said Neal and others are now pushing her to continue to compete, possibly in the world games, something she said she will consider.