Every 4 years the best fencers in the world compete for ultimate prize, an Olympic Gold medal. But who are these people and did they get there?
There are 3 weapons, epee, saber, and foil. Each weapon has their own target area and set of rules. All weapons have male and female squads, totaling 6 squads altogether. Each quad is composed of 3 fencers and an alternate who competes in team event.
The process in the U.S.A involves 12 competitions, 8 international and 4 national competitions. In order to travel to international competitions you must be ranked within the top-12 in the country. Every result at these competitions is given a numerical value. For example: 1st place receives 2000 points and last place receives 0 points. Unfortunately, you don’t receive points unless you finish in the the top 64 at international competitons and the top 32 at national competitions. So if you came in 65th, its almost like you didn’t go at all :( The national point standings are updated after every competition to reflect the points received. The top 4 fencers in each weapon (saber, epee, and foil) are named as the Olympic team at the end of the season in April.
Basically the goal is to go to every competiton and get the highest result possible to accumulate the most points.
Stay tuned to follow my journey around the world for the next year!