More than 8,500 first responders from across the world participated in the games this month. Brent Hartsell won the department’s first medal since the 1980s GRAPEVINE, Texas — A Grapevine Police bike officer won a gold medal in cycling at the 2023 World Police and Fire Games this month.
Officer Brent Hartsell says it wasn’t too long ago that he was out of shape and in need of exercise.
In 2017, the teenage daughter of fallen Grapevine officer Darren Medlin asked for volunteers for a bike ride to Austin in her father’s honor. Hartsell signed up.
“Went and bought my first bike that year from a local bike shop,” he said. “Went and rode 6 miles and ended up throwing up.”
He’s part of the department’s bike unit but mostly uses it as needed or for special events. The Austin ride led to more practice, group rides and eventually regular races. He’s now logging up to 250 miles a week on his road bike.
“I get a lot of friends who say like, ‘man, I don’t even like to be in the car that long,’” he said.
This month, he and other North Texas officers headed to the Police and Fire World Games in Winnipeg, Canada using a Fort Worth police bike trailer to carry their bikes.“When we got into Canada people would stop us or look at us when we’re driving on the road, roll down the window and were like, ‘Did you guys take a wrong turn?’” Hartsell said, joking.More than 8,500 athletes […]