Olympic Fencing Prodigy: Race Imboden

Olympic Fencing Prodigy: Race Imboden

>>RACE IMBODEN: I’m Race Imboden and I’m
going to the 2012 London Olympics.>>JED DUPREE: Race is extraordinary for how
young and how consistent he is and how much success he has experienced.
>>BILL IMBODEN: His competitors are all ten years older than he is.>>JED DUPREE: I’ve been coaching Race for
five years. I think from a very early age you could see when he was holding his foil
that he was very confident and that he really wasn’t intimidated by people who had more
experience.>>RACE IMBODEN: I’m number one in the country
and I’m number four in the world.>>RACE IMBODEN: When you look at the best
athletes in the world, usually they have something that drives them. They have a chip on their
shoulder and I think for me that was just from the get-go, in my sport, I wasn’t the
average fencer. I wasn’t clean cut, I had long hair.
>>FIONA IMBODEN: I still think he likes to see himself as the underdog and have something
to prove.>>RACE IMBODEN: Fencing, I always say, is
the physical chess. It’s a complete balance between physical work and mental work. I had
one of the worse mental psyches on this strip.>>BILL IMBODEN: Race had a terrible time
as a youth fencer. He knew what he wanted to do and sometimes couldn’t make it happen
technically or things didn’t go his way. I mean, many bouts ended in tears even when
he won.>>JED DUPREE: The real difference between
what makes a good fencer and a world class fencer is how they’re able to control their
emotions.>>RACE IMBODEN: Jed taught me that you can
use and alter your emotions to help you.>>FIONA IMBODEN: Race seems to have a more
calm presence now. He doesn’t have to go crazy.>>JED DUPREE: Fencing is a combat sport and
different from other combat sports,>>JED DUPREE: you’re touching each other,
but you’re touching each other and within one touch you have to be able the change how
you did it last time.>>JED DUPREE: In electric fencing the target
area where you can touch the other person is that metal vest that they’re wearing. When
they touch that, there will be a colored light that goes on, whether you’re on the right
or the left side.>>RACE IMBODEN: The intensity in fencing
is such a high level. You have to be able to trick the person basically over and over
again in order to get touches and will the battle. So it’s like your mind is constantly
running, constantly running, constantly running trying to trick the person. I could be the
fastest guy in the world but if you have something that’s tactically smarter than I do, you could
beat me. And that’s difficult.>>RACE IMBODEN: Growing up, all my competitors
were from families with better means than I had. Fencing is not cheap, the equipment
is expensive, the travel you’re paying for yourself.
>>BILL IMBODEN: The challenge was, basically, being able to afford tickets, hotel rooms,
and rental cars.>>RACE IMBODEN: My mother started working
again after she hadn’t worked for a decade, and my father was working extra shifts and
everybody was trying to chip in to help me achieve my goals.
>>BILL IMBODEN: As soon as he could we started to try to teach him how to be self-sufficient.
We would arrive at an airport and we would send Race ahead and let him check himself
in.>>RACE IMBODEN: I actually went to my first
competition alone when I was fourteen. That meant me growing up really quickly.
>>FIONA IMBODEN: But in the hindsight it didn’t stop him. I think it fired him up,
actually, more than it stopped him.>>BILL IMBODEN: We’ve never seen Race fence
internationally. The very first time that we’ll be able to do that will be at the Olympic
Games.>>RACE IMBODEN: I’m sure there will be some
tears shed and my mom is a crier.>>FIONA IMBODEN: It’s very emotional.
>>JED DUPREE: Race’s greatest strength at the Olympics is that he lives for big stages.
You can say that you want to go to the O lympics but when that day comes, you know deep down
inside if this is an opportunity to make a mistake or if this is an opportunity for something
amazing to happen and I think he sees it as something amazing potentially can happen.
>>RACE IMBODEN: The biggest thing about the Olympics is that there is nothing else like
it. I want to just have my body ready, be mentally ready and just be ready to fence.
When I do well and I see my flag raised there’s nothing else, nothing beats that.

100 Replies to “Olympic Fencing Prodigy: Race Imboden”

  1. Fencing is not a sport? If it isn't, it's doing a great impersonation of a sport. It's quite sporting and, athletic.

  2. No, he didn't. In the Olympics, Team USA got rolled by the Germans for the bronze medal in the men's team foil event.
    The score was: Germany: 45 – USA: 27.

  3. Team USA got thrashed by the Germans for the bronze medal in the men's team foil event.
    The score was: Germany: 45 – USA: 27.

  4. Just because these guys don't beat each other stupid doesn't mean it's not a combat sport. As someone who does both SCA fencing and brazilian jiu jitsu I can tell you that the combat mindset aspect is there for both activities.

  5. a lot of people are saying that fencing isn't a combat sport
    of course it is
    thats ridiculous
    you are fighting your opponents which is combat

  6. Try fencing before you think of it as easy. I have fenced for 7 years and I can tell you that there is nothing easy about winning a fencing bout whether it be foil, sabre, or épée.

  7. Question for whoever might know: Does anyone here recognize the song playing midway through the introduction for Race when "Brooklyn, New York" pops out? It's a nice beat. nun

  8. Essentially what these guys are trying to do is kill each other, why wouldn't it be a combat sport? the only difference is that they use instruments which would similarly replicate a sword rather than use actual ones and kill their opponents.
    You could say that it's comparable to gloves or the padded head pieces that boxers are required to wear in order to compete in the olympics.

  9. Life is what you make of it, you can make something of yours that might start out as a seemingly insignificant thing. If you want to do something amazing, stop thinking about the things you haven't done, and start trying to figure out what you could do.

  10. Just because it has finesse doesn't mean it isn't combat.

    It has rules… but so does boxing. Or are you saying someone has to end up knocked out or bleeding for it to be classified as a "combat sport"?

    Fencing is a sport that comes from a time when the nobility would fight duels over matters of honour, sometimes to the death. If that doesn't count as "combat" then I don't know what does.

    It is every bit as serious, physical and confrontational as Boxing.

  11. It's still combat, it has roots leading back to actual sword-fighting, albeit it has been altered greatly so it could be an actual sport. Boxing and MMA is fine and all, but in the end it's two muscley guys goen' at each other (with some strategy involved, I know, but arguably fencing has more strategy and finesse involved.)

  12. serious yes, physical no, confrontational no. Now I have trie fencing admittedly I was not very good but the padding and face mask make it about wit and speed.

  13. Yeah it isn't really combat, at best it's a very abstract form of combat, and worst it's pretty much ballet with a stick. The only time you see someone hurt someone else intentionally in fencing is when they smack their butt with the flat of a blade. (Sabrefag.jpg)

    Is it physical? Very, is it confrontational? More so then chess, but not by much. Now if they went back to first blood drawn I'ld call it a combat sport.

  14. Odd be the day when someone say's that hitting someone with a sword is not a 'combat sport'. If I were to be bold, does hitting someone with a sword not seem like the closest you can get to actual 'combat' without stabbing someone?

  15. In the beginning, people duelled with rapiers. A Rapier is very similar to a foil, a point based weapon. Then along came French small swords, I believe? And around the 18th century, people started using foils. So yes, people really did duel 'for real' with foils.

    Just saying.

  16. Why? Sword fighting vs Punching someone (i.e: boxing); which seems more 'martial' to you?

    (Please, look up the word 'martial' before you reply)

  17. I'd say wrestling was most like chess, a great description was 'a game of kinetic chess in which a choke hole or joint lock was checkmate'

  18. Ya its 'a combat sport'. One difference to MMA and boxing, is that fencing allows for huge gains in full-combat experience throw decades of practice and tens of thousands of hits without losing a single brain cell or a single broken bone.

  19. Me growing up at a young age meant helping my parents at work to pay bills. Not getting on a plane, and checking myself into a hotel to go to a fencing tournament. But different strokes I suppose.

  20. "I could be the fastest guy in the world, but if you have something that is tactically smarter than I do then you could beat me and that's hard." It's also the most interesting thing about the sport.

  21. That's what everyone who hasn't been there doesn't realize. Of course, it's an old comparison between chess and fencing as far as the mental game is concerned. Many top fencers also play chess.

  22. Don't be fooled by the protective gear, the goal of this "sport" is to kill your opponent. The best you can do in MMA or boxing is knock someone out. Without the mask and tips, this is pure man to man combat ending in death. He would kill an MMA fighter in a heartbeat.

  23. Recommendation: Harrison Gill, Squash player number 1 in the U.S and top 10 in World (Not sure which one) 14 years old.

  24. Anyone who says fencing is not physically demanding probably hasn't tried it before or is just very physically fit. Even when I was running 10 miles a day and doing 200 situps and pushups and staying active you could find me sweating profusely just by dumping me in the fencing room for 15 minutes.

  25. been fencing for 7 years and boxing for 6, they definitely both are combat sports
    it's just different classes of combat
    mentality is still more or less the same

  26. No it's not. The goal of fencing is to score points. It is an elegant game of timing, strategy and point control. Yes, a sword could kill someone, and people have died before, but the aim of the sport is to make your box light up when you have the priority. In real life 'priority' wouldn't matter one bit – you'd be dead either way.

    I am a foil fencer who's done it for over 10 years, so I do know what I'm talking about.

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