Diamond Bar, Calif.-based firefighter Jason Hurd, 33, has been playing water polo with the elite team West Hollywood Aquatics for about three years now. He currently plays on the WeHo B team, but don't even begin to think that makes him a slouch—WeHo Aquatics is one of the most competitive masters water polo teams in the country. Most of WeHo A players have been playing water polo for over 10 years, and WeHo B played well and took sixth place at Gay Games VII Chicago.
A firefighter and a water polo star? Oh, and a high school football referee? What a real jock! We couldn't resist finding out more about what makes Hurd tick.
What sports are you participating in at the Gay Games?
What prompted you to participate in Gay Games Chicago?
I've been playing for WH20 water polo for a little over three years. I attended Gay Games 2002 [in Sydney], but did not compete. [I knew then] I wanted to be a part of the Games.
What kind of training have you been doing to prepare for the Gay Games?
The team practices twice a week, scrimmages once per week. [I] swim two to three times per week, run two to three times per week, and do circuit training three times per week.
What are your personal goals for the Gay Games?
[I want to] improve my game, gain confidence, compete well as a team and kick as much polo butt as possible.
When did you first start participating in sports? What kind of sports did you play growing up?
[I played] Little League baseball for six years (ages six to 12); club volleyball for two years, junior high basketball, and high school volleyball for four years (three years varsity captain).
What sporting events and activities do you currently do, outside of competing at the Gay Games?
[I do] snow boarding, scuba diving, work out regularly, running, volleyball, referee high school football, and umpire high school baseball.
How do you feel about your play this week?
For only my third year playing water polo and never having swam competitively, I'm able to hold my own with a majority of the competitors.