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2023 Junior Olympic Championships Day 1 Recap: Even the “blue bear” wanted a sneak peek at today’s high altitude and high aptitude competition

02/17/2023, 8:30pm CST
By Amanda Mastera

Junior Olympic Championship Day 1 Recap: Even the “blue bear” wanted a sneak peek at today’s high altitude and high aptitude competition. Cadet Women’s Epee, Cadet Men’s Saber, and Junior Men’s Foil National Champions were crowned today - Among the First Day’s Highlights



While it isn’t hard to miss, standing 40 feet tall between California and Stout is a massive blue bear statue peering into the Colorado Convention Center, he looked eager to catch some fencing action between Anthony Jiang (Spartak-Cali.) and Taylor A. Chon (Globus Fencing Academy-Texas) during the Cadet Men’s Saber Final. Jiang’s athletic resilience paired with his bold fencing prowess proved too much for Chon and he secured the first national champion of the 2023 Junior Olympics, to which he responded, “Yeah it’s pretty great… I want to give a shout-out to my main coach Constantine and all my other coaches too.” Highlighted in our “last touch” video during the Cadet Men’s Saber Final is the contagious energy and joy radiating from Anthonys’ proud Coach after his win- no coffee needed during this morning’s competition!

During today's competition, it was hard to miss the epee women’s fencers from the Alliance Fencing Academy, mainly because they were frequently competing and then celebrating together. “It was really fun because I really enjoyed the fencing we had and it was really nice to see like what she's been working on play out into the competition, we are all best friends,” expressed Yasmine Khamis (the newly crowned national champion in women’s cadet epee.) Edging out 2 of her teammates on her journey to gold, Jasmine credited her win to the competitive push, accountability, and encouragement she gets from her teammates on and off the strip- you don’t need to be 40 feet tall see that (the sculpture that everyone refers to as the big blue bear is actually named “I See What You Mean.”) Ain't that the truth.

Rounding out an action-packed day of fencing was the Junior Men’s Foil nail-biter final with rivals Chase Emmer (New Jersey) and William Kelly (SoCal) “in 32’s I was down 13-14, brought it back to 14-14 and then scored that last touch. It was the toughest part of my day. I was happy I was able to fight through because I wouldn’t have this gold medal.” Chase plans to celebrate his national champion title by hitting the slopes here in Colorado after the competition, something we know “big blue” would certainly approve of.

Follow all the action tomorrow during Day 2 of the 2023 Junior Olympics on our social platforms (Instagram and Facebook) and the live-stream action on our Youtube channel. Up-to-date stats and seeding can be found on and our 2023 Junior Olympic Championships Event Page

Tag(s): Latest News  2023 Junior Olympics