Idaho Trip with FITS

Last week, I had an amazing adventure in the lovely state of Idaho with Fencing In The Schools. Pocatello and Rigby are the first two communities outside of NY to receive Fencing In The Schools programs, launching in a couple weeks. I went out with Olympians Tim Morehouse and Jeff Spear to document their assemblies and workshops with the teachers. Check out some of the photos below!

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New teachers learning how to fence in Pocatello, ID
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K-8 Holy Spirit Charter School in Pocatello, ID
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Tim Morehouse speaks to 1200 students at Rigby Middle School
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KZBQ radio host Paul Anderson tries fencing
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Olympic stories and values are shared with Academy Charter School
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Jeff Spear teachers students at Pocatello Community Charter School

There was also a great news article from our two days in Idaho: http://www.idahostatejournal.com/members/a-touch-tutorial-olympic-fencers-visit-schools-to-introduce-the/article_e6bdc94a-25b5-11e3-9daf-001a4bcf887a.html

Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Wrestling

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

It’s official, Tokyo will be the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Beating out Istanbul and Madrid, Tokyo last held the Olympics in 1964. Check out this cute photo for fencing!

Another big announcement: Wrestling will be in the Olympics for 2020 and 2024! This is huge for the sport. Fencing and wrestling are very similar (individual combat sports, several periods of play, hard to understand the rules for a novice), so I was carefully watching the fate of Wrestling as the same thing could happen to Fencing in the future. Granted, fencing has made several improvements to help spectators watch the sport (wireless systems, lights on the mask, video replay), but it still hasn’t made a significant impact on sports media consumers. As fencing and wrestling are two of the five original sports from the 1896 Olympics, it’s important that our communities root for each other and keep the tradition of the Olympics alive. And just to show how exciting wrestling can be, check out a video I shot at the 2012 London Olympics of an amazing Japanese wrestler, who goes on to win the gold medal and has a special celebration with her coach.

Penn State coach is out, but you can help

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For a school with as much fencing success and history as Penn State, it’s shocking to hear that the man who is responsible for that legacy would be asked to leave on questionable grounds. Penn State has not had much luck on the coaching front since the Joe Pa scandals, but some things need a stronger explaination. Emik Kaidanov is one of the most winning fencing coaches in NCAA history, with a 795-77 combined record, 12 NCAA Championships, 4-time Coach of the Year, 28 Individual NCAA Champions, 188 All-Americans, 10 Olympians, 1 World Champion (Miles!), and multi-time National Coach for Maccabiah Games, World University Games, and World Championships. I had the pleasure of getting to know him on the 2011 World University Games team as our Team Captain. He had a quiet but kind sensibility that I appreciate in the stressful environment of a tournament. I have a ton of respect for him and his staff, which is why I’m surprised the University wouldn’t show him the same.
Here an article that better explain the situation and what has happened: What We Know So Far
And an alumni letter posted on TheFencingCoach about his firing: PSU Alumni Letter

 

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To help Emik, you can sign a petition on ThePetitionSite

Already, you can see other fencing coaches, former PSU fencers, and supporters are signing up. But the goal is far from reached. Sign the petition and help Coach Kaidanov!

2009 NCAA Champions
2009 NCAA Champions