US Olympic Medalist Fencers coming to the University of Richmond to Promote Fencing and Lead Clinic!

Susie Scanlan U.S. Olympian Susie Scanlan visits the USA House at the Royal College of Art on August 10, 2012 in London, England.
2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Susie Scanlan
2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and Author of American Fencer Tim Morehouse

Want fencing tips from some of the best fencers in the world? Check out some Olympic Medals? Get some inspiration?

Join 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Susie Scanlan, 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Morehouse along with Olympians Nicole Ross and Dagmara Wozniak as they lead a 3-weapon clinic in Virginia on Saturday Sept 15!!!   The four Olympians will be promoting the sport of fencing in Virginia including a clinic from 1-4pm at the University of Richmond sponsored by Salle Green and and Coach Walter G. Green III, Ph.D. Maitre d’Armes AAI.

Tim Morehouse, author of American Fencer: Modern Lessons from an Ancient Sport ( will also be signing copies of his book.

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One of the Biggest Stories of the London 2012 Olympics WILL be a USA Fencer; Maybe Not the one you’d expect

Olympic Hopeful Ibtihaj Muhammed is poised to become a global story and potentially the most famous fencer in USA history if she can qualify for the London 2012 Games.

She would be the first practicing female Muslim on the US Olympic team to compete in a Hijab and the power of this story is MASSIVE on so many levels.

#1  HEALING: At a time when there is a lot of prejudice and misunderstanding of Muslims in the USA, she’d be position as an Olympian to help change millions of people’s opinions in our country.    A US Olympic hero who is a practicing Muslim.  What could be more powerful/timely than that?

#2 ROLE MODEL: In the Middle Eastern world,(where I can’t claim to be an expert) but I know there are big issues around women’s rights and here she would be a powerful female Muslim role model to millions of women.

#3 EXPERT: The 2012 Olympics will be taking place during Ramadan.   So, there will be a lot of press about muslim athletes competing while having to practice their faith.  This also lends another opportunity to educate people and she has been great in recent interviews explaining her training, her faith and challenges.

Even months out of the Olympics now, Ibti has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal in an article Title “Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest”, ESPN Magazine and now a profile in Essence Magazine.(Below)  In addition, she’s just been asked to speak at the ESPN 2011 Summit.

On a purely marketing/PR/sponsorship front, this is a golden opportunity for Ibti to propel herself as a brand, and spokesperson.  She would be  hero to many people by being such a ground-breaker.  There will be no shortage of opportunities there.

The key for her, will likely be managing the  opportunities and press (not if she’ll get it. She will) and all the added pressure that comes along with the attention.   It is very easy under the microscope to make even a tiny error when speaking and few fencer’s have ever had that kind of attention.  There will also be the added pressure to perform with the added expectations.   I hope she has someone that can help guide her through what will be a very exciting, challenging and potentially life changing year for her.

Right now, 2x-Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis leads the qualifying and is a virtual lock and Daria Schneider is in 2nd place, with a small but decent sized lead over Ibti and Dagmara.  World Championships will be a hugely important tournament for all four of them in determining who will go.

US Fencing has an amazing opportunity here, with Mariel going for a 3rd gold medal, having pulled in Nike and TD Ameritrade as sponsors and if Ibti qualifies as well, to get fencing exposure like never before.    And, there are also other great stories to highlight as well with other members of the team.

Now, how is this for a possibility: She has the type of story that with the right politic and representation at the Olympics from our sport’s representatives, she could be the flag bearer for the entire US Olympic team!  Imagine the impact of having a Muslim American women leading in team USA into the Open Ceremonies? Amazing!

It is only too bad women’s saber team doesn’t have an event this Olympics, because then Mariel, Daria, Daga and Ibti would all be going for sure at this point.

Regardless, stay tuned for this amazing developing story…

I apologize for any typos or lack of clarity, I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile and chose 1am while I’m in Germany at a training camp to do it!

Go Mariel, Ibti, Daria, Daga and all of Team USA!

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Here we go! GO TEAM USA! Wish us LUCK!


From June 24 to June 26, 2010,  the New York Athletic Club will partner with the US Fencing Association and the World Fencing Federation, to host one of only ten international Olympic Qualification events for London 2012.    All matches will be held at the New York Athletic Club’s venerable location on Central Park South.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and the top ranked fencer in the world Mariel Zagunis, 2008 Olympic silver medalists James Williams and Tim Morehouse, and the rest of the US team will compete for spots on the 2012 US Olympic Team.  The competition will also feature hundreds of the best fencers in the world and Olympic hopefuls from over 30 countries for individual and team qualification events.  This is the first time a fencing world cup will be held at the New York Athletic Club since the 1980s and is the first international Olympic qualification event for any sport ever to be held at the club.

or at US Fencing Website:  

Team USA Women’s Saber: Wozniak Wins Silver and Schneider Bronze!

Gent Saber World Cup Podium: Dagmara Wozniak (left) won silver and Daria Schneider (far right) won bronze!
Ibtihaj Muhammad also finished in the top-8 losing a close one to 2009 Junior World silver medalist Irene Vecchi (ITA), 15-13.  Mariel Zagunis finished in the top-32.
Great day for Team USA! Congrats!

Mariel Zagunis Captures 2nd Pan Am Gold Medal for Team USA Fencing. Miles Chamley-Watson Claims Silver in Men’s Foil

Pan Am Championships Day 2, Costa Rica – 2-Time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis captured her 2nd straight Pan American title as teammates Dagmara Wozniak and Ibti Muhammad took home Bronze Medals in women’s saber.  Daria Schneider finished 8th.

In Men’s foil, Miles Chamley-Watson paced Team USA capturing a silver medal and Alex Massailas captured a Bronze medal.  Gerek Meinhardt and Kurt Getz finished in the top-8.

Tomorrow, Tim Morehouse, Daryl Homer, Ben Igoe and Mike Etropolski compete  in men’s saber and Kelly and Courtney Hurley, Lyndsay Campbell and Lauren Wilcox in women’s Epee.

Gold: 2
Silver: 1
Bronze: 3

The Best Fencing Party at Nationals? Yury’s Hall of Fame Celebration at Nellya!

Nellya Fencing Club was the home of a celebration to honor new Hall of Fame Member Coach Yury Gelman.     Members of the fencing community turned out in droves to celebrate and pay their respects to Coach Gelman.

The party was a surprise and Yury’s wife and daughter flew down to Atlanta along with his student Olympian Keeth Smart just for the occasion.  Also in attendance were the Jacobson clan, Ed Korfanty, Kurt Aichele, Dagmara Wozniak, Ariania Klinkov, the Douville clan, Terrence Lasker, Akhi-Spencer-El,  Peter Westbrook, Don Anthony and host  Maestro Arkady Burdan amongst others.

I have to say that the best two celebrations I have ever attended were at Nellya Fencing Club…who knew fencing clubs could be so fun for events?