An international police and firefighter sporting competition will inject $50 million into the Lower Mainland economy, organizers said yesterday in Vancouver.

This summer’s World Police and Fire Games will bring more than 8,000 athletes from 49 countries to the Lower Mainland to compete in 63 events, said CEO Stu Ballantyne.

“These are very high-level sports,” said Ballantyne, at police headquarters in Vancouver.

“As much as there are people who are coming to enjoy themselves, a lot of the athletes take this very seriously. This is their Olympics.”

The games run from July 31 to Aug. 9 and mix sports (hockey and rugby) with specialty police and firefighter events (police combat pistol) and games (darts, wrist wrestling and tug-of-war). Other competitions include orienteering, paintball and bench press. All events except for shooting competitions are open for the public to view.