Park Slope fencer headed to Olympics
Apr 23, 2012 | 6288 views | 0 0 comments | 110 110 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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This past weekend, the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team announced that among its chosen athletes will be Brooklyn’s Race Imboden.

The 18-year-old Park Slope resident, who is a 2011 graduate of The Dwight School on the Upper West Side, decided to take a “gap year” to focus on his sport before beginning his studies at Notre Dame, where he has already been accepted.

And what a great decision it has turned out to be for this teenager.

After the fourth World Cup event, Race mathematically qualified for the Olympics in Men’s Foil based on his high team rankings. He is currently #6 in the world in men’s foil, #2 in the USA Fencing Division I (Senior) and #2 in the USA Fencing Under 19 Division (Junior).

“I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be competing as a member of Team USA, especially in London because my mother’s home country is England,” said Imboden. “For nine years, I have been working toward this goal with the amazing support and sacrifice of my parents to whom I’m eternally grateful.”

The Dwight School has consistently produced some of the world’s top fencers through both its after-school fencing club and its encouragement of talented athletes who study the sport in private clubs around the city.

In return for the support from their school, fencers live by a “Pay it Forward” philosophy of giving back by volunteering their time to help coach younger and less experienced fencers in Dwight’s after-school fencing club.

“All of us at Dwight are so proud of Race’s stellar accomplishments and extend our congratulations,” said Chancellor Stephen Spahn. “The Dwight family will be glued to the screen when Race competes this summer in London.”

Imboden, who trains at the Empire United Fencing Club in New York City with former Olympian Jed Dupree as his coach, took up fencing at nine after a childhood fascination with swordplay. When a stranger saw the young Imboden playing with toy swords in a park, he suggested to his parents that he might enjoy the sport.

By 16, Imboden had qualified for his first major international team, earning a bronze medal at the 2010 Cadet World Championships. Earlier this month, he was a member of the U.S. Junior World Team that made history by winning gold for the third year in a row.

In January at age 18, Imboden was one of the youngest competitors to medal in Senior World Cup competition, was named to his first senior U.S. team, and rose to the sixth best in the world — all within a matter of months.

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