Yes, Sports and Politics Do Mix. Get Over It.

When Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the Modern Olympics, he designed the Olympic Rings to include the colors of every flag of every nation, linked together to symbolize the inclusivity of the games and the idea that national differences could be set aside to engage in the struggle of sport. The Baron was so insistent…

Fencing is not a Combat Sport—and that’s a Good Thing

Sometime after I graduated college, I had a quarter-life fencing burnout crisis and decided to take a break from the sport. Boxing, I thought, would be a fun sport to learn. It involves a similar emphasis on footwork, speed, distance control, and strategy, and I loved watching it growing up. When I got into the…

The Black Card as a Last Resort

In a previous post, I quipped about “Tales of Epic Black Cards,” which was a collection of horror stories from various referees where they had to resort to pulling out the dreaded black card (my favorite from my friend Kevin Shanahan, who shared with me a scoresheet signed “this ref stinks”). To everyone not named…

The FIE Non-Combativity Proposal is Malarkey

The Federation Internationale d’Escrime (FIE) often resembles a hyperactive cat distracted by a laser pointer. Each year, ambitious new rule changes are proposed that hold neither the support of the fencers impacted, nor the referees enforcing them. Last year, we piloted the now defunct “Russian Box of Death” proposal that set the Sabre en garde…