Lee Kiefer OLY, Maia Weintraub, Zander Rhodes and Jackie Dubrovich OLY sport their silver medals from the 2022 Fencing World Championships in Cairo. (Photo by #BizziTeam)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sorry, Carmen Sandiego. As fans of Team USA, we’re more interested in knowing where in the world are the likes of Lee Kiefer OLY, Daryl Homer OLY, Kat Holmes OLY and the other awe-inspiring members of our Senior, Junior, Cadet and Parafencing teams.
Throughout the season, Team USA’s fencers travel to World Cup and Grand Prix events around the globe. At each stop — whether that’s Belgrade or Barcelona or Buenos Aires or countless other picturesque places — these athletes test themselves against the world’s best fencers and earn important points toward qualifying for end-of-season competitions.
For our Senior fencers, those tournaments include the Senior Fencing World Championships next July in Milan, Italy. For Juniors and Cadets, all eyes are on the Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships next April in Bulgaria.
Even as fencing gains in popularity, keeping track of Team USA’s top fencers isn’t always easy. That’s where we’d like to help.
Here’s what you need to know to follow Team USA.
The FIE (international fencing federation) holds tournaments throughout the year at the Junior and Senior levels.
The FIE’s schedule page does a nice job of listing every tournament and allowing you to filter by event type, weapon and gender.
But Cadet and Parafencing tournaments aren’t on the FIE page. And not all events listed on the FIE page will have Team USA fencers in attendance. That’s where the distinction between designated and non-designated tournaments comes into play.
Designated tournaments are ones in which Team USA athletes can earn points to qualify for end-of-season competitions like the Senior Pan American Zonals or Senior World Championships.
Non-designated tournaments are ones in which Team USA athletes cannot earn points toward qualification.
To see which events are designated vs. non-designated, go to the International Tournament Browser within the USA Fencing member portal. Login is not required.
USA Fencing’s own international calendar is intended primarily for athletes — it includes things like deadlines and points information — but is another way for fans to see a full picture of the season.
Click the button with the three silhouettes and the number 12 to see who is registered for the tournament.
You'll see a page that looks like this, showing you those who are approved for the tournament and those on the wait list in case someone cannot compete.
Once inside the International Tournament Browser, find the tournament you want and click the “See Preview” button to learn more about that competition. Scroll down to the “Contested Events” section, and click the people icon next to the event’s name.
Now you’ll see a list of the competitors, including who has been approved to compete and who is waitlisted (meaning they will be able to compete at this tournament only if another Team USA athlete decides to drop out of the competition).
Keep in mind that most tournaments limit each nation to 12 athletes per gender and weapon at the senior and junior levels, while the cap is typically 20 at the cadet level.
These days, most international fencing tournaments make it easy to follow the action from home by posting results online in near-real time.
While technology makes it more convenient for fans following from home, there’s no single website a tournament host must use.
At USA Fencing, we try to share the results link on Instagram Stories whenever possible, so that’s a great place to start. But there are other ways to find this information, as well:
Check the FIE competitions page. Click the tournament that interests you, and look for a “live results” button. If one is there, you’re good to go! If not, try the links below or check back later as the FIE updates this page regularly.
Check the various fencing results sites, including:
While we long for the day when we can watch fencing live on the major TV networks, that day hasn’t yet arrived.
In the meantime, most tournament organizers will stream at least the semifinals and finals bouts on YouTube or their official tournament site.
To find those links, return to the FIE competitions page. Find the tournament you want, and look for a livestream button. If you see one, you’ve found it! If not, keep checking back.
The FIE also will aggregate some livestream links at fie.org/live, so that’s another place to check.
Photo by #BizziTeam
This is the easy (and fun!) part. Set your alarm and get ready to cheer on your favorite fencers as they go for gold around the world.
If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow and @ mention your favorite athletes so they can see your support. And if you tag @usafencing on Instagram, we may reshare your cheer so others see it.
Let’s go, USA!
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