Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Category: Olympic Games Page 1 of 3

Defying Boundaries: The Journey of Olympic Fencers

Defying Boundaries: The Journey of Olympic Fencers Konstantin Lokhanov, Sergey Bida and Violetta Bida

In a world where sports transcend borders, sometimes athletes make decisions that go beyond medals and championships. Today, we bring you an inspiring story of courage, conviction, and unity on the fencing piste.

Meet Konstantin Lokhanov, a sabre fencer now training at the La Jolla Fencing Academy in San Diego, and Sergey and Violetta Bida, who have found their new home here with us, at the Academy of Fencing Masters. These remarkable athletes have taken a stand against the Russian war in Ukraine and defected to the United States. Their goal? To continue their fencing journey and represent their new home at the Olympic Games.

Watch a heartwarming video from the BBC, sharing the incredible journey of these fencers who are not only chasing their Olympic dreams but also championing a cause they deeply believe in. 🇺🇸🤺❤️ #FencingForPeace #OlympicDreams

The 2023 Fencing World Championships are Happening! What You Should Know and Why You Should Care Right Now!

2023 Fencing World Championships - Milan, Italy

The Fencing World Championships just started on July 22nd and will run through Sunday the 30th in Milan, Italy. This is a major international fencing event that happens every year as the culmination of the season, except during the Olympics, where the Games serve the same purpose. 

All three weapons and both women and men participate in the competition, in team and individual events. It’s a smorgasbord of world-class fencing, the closest thing to the Olympics outside of the Games themselves, and definitely something fencers want to keep an eye out for. Especially this year, the World Championships are an essential part of the run-up to next year’s Paris Olympiad. 

Let’s delve into the format of the championship, the significance of team events in Olympic qualification, and the software used to manage this incredible and incredibly important competition.

Individual Events – Preliminaries and Eliminations

The individual events are the heart of the championship, spanning the first six days of the tournament. 

During each day of competition, there’s a great mix of gender and weapon. This mix theoretically allows people from countries that don’t have a lot of fencers to participate in several events (for example, the same fencer can participate one day in the Women’s Foil event and another day in the Women’s Sabre event). On one single day, there will be a women’s individual round from one weapon and then a men’s individual from another weapon, and then the same kind of pattern for the team competition. It’s always interchanged. 

Each individual competition at the Fencing World Championship is divided into two phases over two days. The first day consists of the preliminary round, establishing the final top 64 table. Then, a few days later, the competition moves on to the second stage, which is fencing the final table of 64, where the world champion will be determined.

Why is the First Place Winner Presented with a Cup in Sports?

USA Team #1 - Wonners of Cadet World Cup in Women's Epee in European Cadet Circuit in Belgrade, Serbia, October 22, 2022

Often in sports, the first place winner is presented with a big, shiny trophy in the shape of a hollowed out bowl that is stamped with various words and symbols. Medals are prevalent too, most notably at the Olympic Games, but cups are easily the second most recognizable kind of award for sporting achievement.

At the top of professional sports, we see the huge Stanley Cup in hockey (which is over three feet tall), the men’s Wimbledon Championship Trophy (the women get an ornamental plate), and the FIFA World Cup (this cup has a globe inside it and the design is based on the original traditional version of the cup). In most cases with cups, the winner of the tournament doesn’t get to keep it. That includes all three of those listed above, which all engrave the name of the team on the cup. Instead, sometimes the team or winner will get a replica, which is what happens with FIFA.

In American fencing, we have the North America Cup (NAC) competitions, which in its current setup does not offer any trophy, maybe there was one many years ago. There’s also the Fencing World Cup, which offers a trophy shaped like a cup and is one of the top international fencing competitions. 

It’s an interesting phenomenon in the world of sports when you think about it. What are these cups for? Is anyone actually drinking out of them? How did this tradition get started in the first place?

Cool Runnings Again: Beating the Unbeatable

Cool Runnings Again: Beating the Unbeatable

After 24 years, the Jamaican four-man bobsled team has at last qualified for the Winter Olympics again. 

When I saw the Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, I was completely in awe of their story. It stuck with me through the years, continuing to inspire me whenever it ran across my mind. A couple of days ago, the story of the new four man bobsled team from Jamaica making the Winter Olympics popped up while I was watching the news on TV, and I was suddenly inspired all over again! It fast forwarded me back 34 years with the same spirit, and so I decided to dig deeper into the history and write a post about it. These guys once again showed me that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

It’s a feat that is almost unimaginable, but it’s one that we need right now. We need to feel the rush of inspiration and the belief that anything is possible. Particularly now, as we are all looking for things to fuel our passion after the last two years have drawn us through the wringer. 

This is the underdog’s underdog story. It gets people’s attention because of the juxtaposition of a warm Caribbean island and the frozen bobsled track. It keeps our attention because of the heart of sport that it represents. 

From COVID to Careers – An Interview Alexander Gorbachuk, Coach of the 2020 Olympic Gold Medal Men’s Epee Team Part 3

From COVID to Careers - An Interview Alexander Gorbachuk, Coach of the 2020 Olympic Gold Medal Men’s Epee Team Part 3

Taking a team to the highest level of fencing is a task that’s filled with tough decisions, long hours, and much sacrifice on the part of everyone involved. Getting there takes a team effort, and it takes a fencing coach with vision like Alexander Gorbachuk.

Originally from Ukraine, Gorbachuk has been the leader of the Japanese men’s epee fencing team for a dozen years now, but he’s always looking forward. Even after his team’s win on the world’s biggest sports stage, he’s got an eye for what comes next for Japan and for fencing.

His rigorous work ethic and layered understanding of the intertwining cultures of fencing across the world have helped him to lead the Japanese epee team all the way to the Gold in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Bridging the cultural barriers has not been a walk in the park, but after investing more than a decade into the Japanese epee team, Gorbachuk has found a way to bring out the best in his fencers. In this piece, he gives us a remarkable insight into how fencing in Japan works, from the way that various weapons interact to how athletes are supported during their fencing career, to what happens after.

Clearly, Alexander Gorbachuk is a deep mine of knowledge within fencing, but he’s also a coach who meets his staff and his athletes where they are. Once he meets them, that’s when he’s able to take them to the next level.

The transformational methods of his coaching are showcased in this series of interviews. In Part 1, he shared his experience shaping the team in the lead up to the Olympics. Then in Part 2, he showed us what it means to do the challenging work of crossing cultures in sport. Finally here in Part 3, Gorbachuk gives us insight into training through COVID and the path forward.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén