Personal Information

Occupation Athlete, Model

Languages English, Spanish

Higher education Sport Management - Pennsylvania State University: State College, PA, USA

License number 03121989000


World Cup1214
Tokyo (JAPAN), 2016-11-11Isla de Margarita (VENEZUELA), 2010-06-11Estado Vargas (VENEZUELA), 2009-06-12
Bonn (GERMANY), 2016-02-05
World Championship1--1
Budapest (HUNGARY), 2013-08-06
Zone Championships-145
San José (COSTA RICA), 2010-08-03San Salvador (EL SALVADOR), 2009-07-02
Cartagena (COLOMBIA), 2013-06-17
Panama (PANAMA), 2016-06-21
Montreal (CANADA), 2017-06-13
Grand Prix1-12
Shanghai (CHINA), 2015-05-15St-Petersbourg (RUSSIA), 2010-05-24

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport? He first tried the sport in an after-school programme at age 10 in New York, NY, United States of America. He entered his first competition at age 11, and at age 15 he began to consider a career in fencing.

Why this sport? "Fencing was actually supposed to be a punishment for me. I used to get into trouble all the time growing up and I was put in an after-school programme. They made me pick an extracurricular activity, like badminton, tennis, fencing. And I'm like, 'Alright, whatever, I'll pick up fencing, swords are fun'. [I] loved it right away, and the rest is history. I like 'Star Wars' and all those movies. With a sword in your hand, you feel quite powerful. I think that's what really drew me to fencing. I tried it and fell in love with it right away, and that was it. As I fell more and more in love with fencing, I started getting in less trouble. Immediately when I put the mask on, I just felt a special energy and feeling."

Club / Team Los Angeles International Fencing Center: United States

Name of coach Misha Itkin [club]

Handedness Right

General Interest

Hobbies Shopping, listening to music, reading, photography, modelling, spending time with friends. (teamusa.org, 13 Jan 2019; Facebook page, 05 Jul 2018)

Memorable sporting achievement Performing what would become his signature move, the 'Chamley-Watson', at the 2009 World Championships in Antalya, Turkiye. "That was the point where my life changed." (olympics.com, 08 Feb 2024)

Hero / Idol Martial artist Bruce Lee. (vmagazine.com, 15 Dec 2021)

Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs He has a tattoo of the word 'Risk' on his hand that he looks at before each bout. "I always tell myself to take risks. Even if it's a close call, if it's a tied match, no matter what, take risks. Ultimately, people who take risks win. People who don't, they don't win." (express.com, 29 Jul 2018)

Sporting philosophy / motto "Individuality is what separates us [fencers], because we are wearing masks and you can't really see who we are. My style is natural. I never tried to be flashy, it just happened. What is important in every sport is being yourself and sticking out in whichever way you want to." (redbull.com, 25 Sep 2019)

Awards and honours He was named an Athlete Role Model for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, People's Republic of China. (fie.org, 20 Aug 2014)

Other sports He competed in varsity football and basketball at high school. (teamusa.org, 13 Jan 2019)

Milestones He was part of the US team that won gold in team foil at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, which was the United States of America's first world championship gold medal in the men's team foil event. (usafencing.org, 01 Jan 2020; SportsDeskOnline, 19 Mar 2021)

He became the first male US fencer to win individual gold at the world championships when he triumphed in foil at the 2013 edition in Budapest, Hungary. (SportsDeskOnline, 21 Jun 2017; insidethegames.biz, 09 Aug 2013)

Famous relatives His mother Elizabeth Chamley-Oerton competed in athletics at national level in Malawi. (redbull.com, 04 Mar 2020)

Ambitions To compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. (olympics.com, 14 May 2024)

Other information THE CHAMLEY-WATSON
He has a fencing technique named after him. The 'Chamley-Watson' was first used at the 2009 World Championships in Antalya, Turkiye, when he wrapped his arm around the back of his head to strike the opponent. "People have tried [to use the move on him], but obviously it doesn't work. I get little kids doing it, I've got people doing it at competitions. I love seeing it. You know, it is called the Chamley-Watson, so I love seeing it. But no one's going to be able to do it better than me." (express.com, 29 Jul 2018; mileschamleywatson.com, 01 Oct 2016; YouTube, 18 Apr 2012)

He works as a model in his spare time. "My mum was a model, and I did a few things when I was younger, but I was always just focused on training and fencing, and playing soccer and other sports. But then I was thinking, 'My sport doesn't have as much airtime as other sports, this can be a way to get double [exposure]'. Athletes want to be models and models want to be athletes, so for me it's like, let's be both. I love dressing up. For me, that's a healthy distraction. I enjoy that other side of my life because if I'm only focusing on fencing and competing I would go crazy. Modelling and fashion and all the other stuff comes second." (fansided.com, 19 Dec 2021; footwearnews.com, 07 May 2019; redbull.com, 04 Mar 2020; esquire.com, 20 Jul 2017)

He says he wants to make fencing more popular and is motivated by inspiring children from non-traditional fencing backgrounds to take up the sport. "My goal is to take it from niche to mainstream. We have the potential to be on TV every day. Obviously the Olympics and world championships are big for the sport, but I think there are so many other ways to bring viewers to the sport. Fencing is considered a luxury sport, but I think I'm the complete opposite of what you think of when you think of a fencer. 99% of them are what you think in your head. And then that one percent, that one person is me. Now, little kids at my club will dye their hair blonde. I got this letter from this kid saying, 'I'm cool now at school, because people know who you are'. Hearing that is better than anything else. Because a lot of kids get made fun of like, 'Oh, you fence?' Kids can relate to me because I speak for the kids who are bullied." (redbull.com, 04 Mar 2020, 25 Sep 2019; esquire.com, 20 Jul 2017)

Born in London, England, with Jamaican, Irish, British and Malawian heritage, he moved to New York, NY, United States of America, with his family at age nine. At age 12 he relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before returning to New York at age 21. (olympics.com, 08 Feb 2024; usafencing.org, 30 Jul 2023; fansided.com, 19 Dec 2021; redbull.com, 04 Mar 2020; Facebook page, 17 Jun 2017)


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