Tag: saber fencing

‘Stay Close’: PBS Film Highlights Olympian Keeth Smart’s Rare Success as Black Man in Sport of Fencing

Keeth Smart (photo via Twitter.com)

Keeth Smart became the first American to reach No. 1 in the world in saber fencing and later won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. That he was black made it all the more compelling.

In 19 minutes, the sum of Smart’s life plays out in “Stay Close,” an inspiring short documentary that debuted last night on PBS and speaks to one man’s uncompromising desire to achieve in the face of hardship.

Using a combination of black and white animation, raw family footage and interviews, “Stay Close” illuminates Smart’s ascension from a West Indies community in Brooklyn to the apex of a sport blacks rarely compete in: fencing.

Daryl Homer Scores 1st Silver Medal for U.S. in Men’s Saber since 1904

Daryl Homer celebrates victory over Matyas Szabo of Germany in the men’s individual saber quarterfinal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 3 on Aug. 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. (photo via teamusa.org)

article by Rebecca Harris via teamusa.org

RIO DE JANEIRO — As he was being chased down, nearly tripping off of the strip entirely, American saber fencer Daryl Homer somehow snuck his blade into German fencer Matyas Szabo’s ribs for a point during his quarterfinal bout. The point was heralded with chants of “U-S-A” from the audience, with the painted faces and bodies usually reserved for American football games, not for what could be called modern-day dueling.

Homer lost the gold-medal bout to Aron Szilagyi of Hungary, 15-8. He became the first U.S. medalist in men’s saber since Peter Westbrook won a bronze medal in 1984 and the first U.S. men’s silver medalist since William Grebe in 1904.

The U.S. has never won gold in men’s saber.“I wouldn’t have found an access point to fencing without Peter,” he said. Homer’s journey into fencing was a happy accident and he owes partial thanks to Westbrook. Homer came across the sport in a book one day. He took one look at the shiny masks and vests and told his mom he wanted to fence. She wasn’t a fan of the idea until she saw Westbrook in a TV commercial.  Westbrook actually gave Homer entrée into the sport through his Peter Westbrook Foundation, which teaches fencing to New York area kids of color.

To read more, go to: Daryl Homer Scores Team USA’s First Men’s Saber Silver Since 1904