It had been 12 years since Huron County Sheriff's Capt. Ted Patrick had participated in the Ohio Police and Fire Games.
The 48-year-old deputy brought home the gold during the June 16 event in Toledo.
He won the top medal for the shot-put event in the age division called Golden Masters, covering police officers and firefighters who are ages 45 to 49. Patrick threw the shot-put 42 feet, 4 inches.
"In high school, I used to throw it over 50 feet," Patrick said.
Sheriff Dane Howard is proud of his spokesman's accomplishment.
"He's a strong representation of the office. He's truly an inspiration to the men and women who work under him," Howard said.
"He'd been training for a short while," he said about Patrick training for about three weeks.
Patrick had competed in the state games for seven or eight years starting in the late 1980s. At that time, he was involved in the shot-put, discus, javelin and hammer throw and earned several medals.
"This time I just did the shot-put," Patrick said. "I was injured at work in February and I was limited to one event."
While attending Western Reserve High School, Patrick did the shot-put and discus. The 1980 graduate still holds the record for throwing the shot-put 55 feet, 6 1/2 inches. He placed fifth in the same event during state competition his senior year.
In 1997, Patrick earned a gold medal for shot-put in the International Police and Fire Games in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. About two years earlier, he placed second and third in the shot-put during the World Police and Fire Games in Tennessee.
The international and world events used to be held every two years. Starting in 2011, there will just be the World Police and Fire Games, which will take place in New York, N.Y.
"You get athletes from all over the world," said Patrick, who recalled 26 countries being at the 1997 international event.
Full-time police officers and firefighters formerly qualified for the international and world events at the state level.
"That's not the case anymore. Anybody can compete," Patrick said.
After 24 years with the sheriff's office and 12 years away from competing, Patrick is inspired to return.
"I really enjoyed it this year. I'd like to be involved in the bigger events next year," he said.