On the Fence

On the Fence

Tobias Neto, Staff Writer

Utica College students are all required to take one gym course while attending the school. Luckily, fencing is being offered again this academic year.

Ken Brown, the current fencing instructor at UC, took over the program from Jan De’amicis. De’amicis started the fencing program.

Brown found the inspiration to fence from his mother who was on her way to the Olympics, but was stopped short due to the birth of her son. His mother taught him to fence when he was young and he developed his skill to hopefully reach the Olympics one day.

UC junior Tristan Miller- Cottle is just one of many students who have expressed interest in joining the club.

“If I wasn’t so busy with my academics, I would join. It seems interesting to think of myself as a swordsman,” Miller-Cottle said.

The Olympic swordplay has been practiced for thousands of years and modern day fencing began as a part of military training. The sport of fencing is fast and athletic. Instead of swinging from a chandelier or leaping off from balconies, it shows two skilled fencers moving back and forth on a six-by-44 foot strip. The action is so fast, the touches are counted electronically.

In this summer’s Olympics, fencing was a sport that did not get the television time that basketball or soccer received. The United States did have athletes to compete against other countries and collected a medal count of four: zero gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals.

UC sophomore Leah Octave said she has the knowledge of the sport but is not familiar with how it is played.

“Is that the sport with the sword fighting,” Octave said.

Given the timing of the Olympics, perhaps more students will consider taking fencing on campus with the hopes of one day appearing at the Games.