Personal Information

Residence New York, NY, USA

Occupation Athlete

Languages English

Higher education Advertising - St. John's University: New York, NY, USA

License number 16071990000


World Cup--22
Dakar (SENEGAL), 2016-11-04
Madrid (SPAIN), 2018-05-18
World Championship-1-1
Moscow (RUSSIA), 2015-07-13
Zone Championships2237
Reno - Nevada (USA), 2011-07-04Santiago (CHILE), 2015-04-17Cartagena (COLOMBIA), 2013-06-18
Montreal (CANADA), 2017-06-15Toronto (CANADA), 2019-06-27San José (COSTA RICA), 2014-06-03
La Havane (CUBA), 2018-06-17
Grand Prix--11
Séoul (KOREA), 2015-03-28
Olympic Games-1-1
Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL), 2016-08-10

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport? He began fencing at age 11 at the Peter Westbrook Foundation in New York, NY, United States of America. He later began training under Yury Gelman, who coached him for free at the Manhattan Fencing Center.

Why this sport? He read about fencing in a children's dictionary when he was young and begged his mother to let him take up the sport. "I think she pushed it aside at the time, but a few years later we were watching television and a commercial that featured two black fencers came on. I pointed it out to my mother, and I think the visual of seeing these black males fencing was enough to make her think this was attainable. She looked up a fencing foundation, and it progressed from there."

Club / Team The Fencers Club: New York, NY, USA

Name of coach Akhi Spencer-El [club], USA; Zoran Tulum [national]; Yury Gelman [personal]

Handedness Right

General Interest

Most influential person in career US fencers Peter Westbrook and Keeth Smart. (teamusa.org, 01 Sep 2016, 23 Jun 2020)

Hero / Idol US fencer Peter Westbrook. (espn.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016; wsj.com, 10 Aug 2016)

Sporting philosophy / motto "Fencing is literally your life put into a 20-second period. 20 seconds of pressure. It takes so much from you. You have to make the right decisions, keep your emotions tight and stay confident." (pressroom.toyota.com, 18 Mar 2020)

Awards and honours While at St. John's University he was awarded All-American honours in four consecutive seasons from 2010 to 2013. (teamusa.org, 01 Sep 2016)

Milestones He became the first US male sabre fencer to win a medal at the world championships, when he claimed silver at the 2015 edition in Moscow, Russian Federation. (SportsDeskOnline, 16 Mar 2016; theplayerstribune.com, 30 Sep 2015)

Famous relatives His younger sister D'Meca was a foil fencer in college, and competed for the Virgin Islands, US at the 2011 World Championships in Catania, Italy. (SportsDeskOnline, 09 Jul 2013; teamusa.org, 03 Jul 2011; gocolumbialions.com, 10 Aug 2012; fie.og, 09 Oct 2011)

Ambitions To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (Twitter profile, 09 Apr 2019)

Other information MEMORABLE MENTOR
He has been inspired by US fencer Peter Westbrook ever since seeing him on a television commercial as a child, which led to him joining the Peter Westbrook Foundation in New York, NY, United States of America, at age 11. Westbrook became his mentor and years later, at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he became the first US fencer to win an Olympic medal in the men's individual sabre since Westbrook, who had won the bronze medal in the same event at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. "Peter and I have a close personal relationship, but to also have our names etched in history next to each other is really humbling. I've probably read his book 'Harnessing Anger' hundreds of times throughout my life. [His achievement of] six Olympic teams and 13 national championships were always in the back of my mind. I may not beat those, but it's nice to know that there's something iconic and transcendental that bonds us together. I wouldn't have found an access point to fencing without Peter. So [without him], I probably wouldn't be here." (espn.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016; teamusa.org, 23 Jun 2020)

Born in the Virgin Islands, US, he moved to New York, NY, United States of America, at age five with his mother and his sister. (huffingtonpost.com, 15 Apr 2015; vogue.com, 09 Aug 2016)

He served as an Athlete Role Model at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also visits fencing clubs and schools to discuss his experiences in fencing. In 2017 he visited Senegal to teach fencing to prisoners and orphans. "I hope the youth in the programme are able to take away tangible skills from these experiences, and that continued exposure to the sport will lead to more opportunities. I've seen how 'play' and discipline can be connected seamlessly to help the youth in the real world." In 2019 he joined the University of Notre Dame's fencing coaching staff as a volunteer assistant. (cnn.com, 02 Mar 2017; shadeglobal.com, 02 Mar 2017; hackleyschool.org, 20 Jan 2017; fie.org, 09 Oct 2018; und.com, 21 Oct 2019)


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