“The President’s Photographer” on PBS Includes Fencing Picture!

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This PBS special about President Obama’s photographer includes our visit to the White House to support the 2016 Olympic bid!

You can check out a quick glimpse at about 2:45 and then at 6:42 you can see me talking to President Obama about where I keep my medal!

It seems likely from what they said in the documentary that the picture was hanging in the West Wing for awhile!  Cool!

Also, in general, this is a really interesting documentary!

Area Jedi Offers lightsaber classes for kids…

Funny story on a guy teaching kids to lightsaber fence!

There are really only two ways to look at a $300, 10-week class that teaches lightsaber skills to your 6-year-old: 1) Why would I pay that much money so my kid can learn to use something that doesn’t exist?; 2) Where do I sign?

“It really at the end of the day is about armed stage combat,” says Erin Steenson, 33, an Oakton actor who will teach the class at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo this September. Steenson learned swordplay in April 2009 from Bette Cassatt (the “Jedi Master” who has taught many of Adventure’s lightsaber classes), when she first appeared in Cassatt’s touring adaptation of The Three Musketeers.


President Obama Fencing at the White House! “It’s True. I Always Wanted To Fence”

At the start of the video President Obama says, “It’s True, I always wanted to Fence!” and then he points at Daria and myself and says, “So, I might get some tips from you two.”   Then 42 Seconds in he comes over and learns about fencing from us. (Took me awhile to get this up. Sorry!)

Some Highlights:
1)He “stabs” me with a Light Saber in front of cameras in what would become a picture seen around the world.

2) The President  “pokes” Michelle Obama at one point with a Foam Saber and pretends to fence with her

3) He referees a touch with the panoramic view of the White House behind us.  (Amazing!)

4) You can see Michelle trying to check out the Olympic medal twice: First time, President Obama moves it away and 2nd time I thought she was trying to shake my hand! (She finally gives up, sad!)

What a surreal day this was in my life!

Another Reason Fencing Rocks?



What other sport can you do on the white house lawn, on stages, the street or practically anywhere?  Over the past 2-years there have been fencing demonstrations and clinics done at the White House, fashion shows, Capitol Hill, Park Ave, Bryant Park, NY City Hall, IN THE STREET, the Coney Island boardwalk, school classrooms and auditoriums…

Most sports need to bring the people to them because they are done on fields or in gyms, but with fencing we can bring the sport TO THE PEOPLE which makes it ideal for events and promotion! (GO FENCING!)

President Obama and the First Lady Learning to Fence in Support Chicago 2016!

I’m so giddy I can barely write, but here goes!

Daria Schneider and I went to the White House today for an event with President Obama and the First Lady in support of Chicago’s Olympic Games bid.

You never really know how much time you’re going to get to spend with the President when you visit, but today was really above and beyond my wildest dreams and truly a great day for fencing!

It started with Michelle Obama during her speech saying that she saw Barack trying to fence before they all came out and he clearly doesn’t have it! Then when Obama started his speech he began it by saying that, “I always wanted to try fencing, and maybe you guys,” he said pointing at us, “can give me a few pointers.”

After the speeches, President Obama and the First Lady made their way over to us as we were talking to the assembled kids and they spent significant time with us! We showed President Obama a few moves, he played with the light saber and foam sabers, asked us questions about the sport, checked out my Olympic medal from Beijing (he said he’d never seen one before!) and then even refereed the demonstration between Daria and myself!

At one point, he fist pumped Daria during the match when she scored on me!

Unbelievably surreal!

Right now, pictures of us fencing with Obama are going out all over the internet! Fingers crossed that this publicity will help us with ratings for our World Championships, get more people to come try it out (You couldn’t ask for a better endorsement of the sport!), and help us land those still elusive sponsorships.

Either way, this was really one of the most amazing experiences of my life!