This past Wednesday started out like any other busy day at the beginning of a new fencing season, but something happened to quickly make it a particularly great day at AFM. One of our young fencers wrote a report on his first summer nationals this summer in Columbus, Ohio.
In his own words and with his own great sense of humor, he tells us how he enjoyed the trip and especially loved having the support of his fellow fencers and his coach. He’s graciously agreed to let us share his words with you here.
Thank you to Jared for sharing your experience in this first full week of the new season. We hope for many great stories like this throughout the year and especially at next summer’s National Competition in San Jose!
Ohio: The Heart of It All
Written and Presented by Jared Otake
” Five hours—Fencing—Columbus, Ohio. It may be surprising, though these things are related once every couple years. My life was started on this giant roller coaster, when my mom asked a question: Do you want to do fencing? Of course I said yes since the idea of poking somebody appealed to me.
Let’s go forward in time about eight months, to the end of the flight to Ohio. Why Ohio you may ask? Why not Hawaii or Washington? Let’s just say there is a giant fencing competition called Summer Nationals in Ohio.
When we arrived I could already tell it was hot, humid and sticky. When my family and I walked into the cool interior of our hotel, my day got a lot better.
The next day all I had to do was catch up with some fencing friends at Nationals and watch some of them fence. For example: Mr. Mao is fencing Mr. Toro. They salute each other and are off! Toro was the first to attack running up and scoring a point.
I fenced on the second day in Ohio. With 122 people in the competition I got 102nd place, which met my goal of being 105 and under.
This competition has not altered my life, though it may have altered my fencing life by fencing people from different countries such as China and Canada. It also helped to watch people to see what their mistakes were.
I was glad that AFM, my club, supported me. I bet my friends were glad they were supported too. One of my biggest supporters was my coach, Natasha. She gave me and all her students at Nationals a lot of attention. She even taught some of us to do a happy dance.
I would be happy if another Nationals is in Ohio because I would know my way around. Now to me the capital of Ohio is the heart of it all.”