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Q&A with Jason Pryor

03/25/2011, 3:43am CDT

Jason Pryor, a resident epee fencer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, took a break from training to answer questions on winning NCAAs as a Buckeye, his goals of competing in Rio de Janeiro and whether we'll be seeing the dreadlocks back again...

Q: Where are you from?
South Euclid, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

Q: How long have you been at the Olympic Training Center?
A: Since April of last year. I plan to stay here though 2016 because that will be my shot at the Games.

Q: What inspired Jason to get involved in fencing?
A: I used to play soccer when I was around 10 or 11. I quit that and my parents told me I needed to choose another sport. I had heard about fencing and my parents found me a club about 20 minutes away. I started going there once a weekend and one thing lead to another.

Q: What is the most challenging part of fencing?
A: I guess it has to be perseverance. The first years of fencing can be rough because fencing isn‘t something that you can get good at right away. It takes about ten years to be able to compete at a competitive level. If you don‘t have good coaching and people to fence with, you can hit the ceiling really fast in fencing. It takes a lot of time to combine athleticism and technical skills. It‘s such an unnatural movement so it takes a lot of practice to make it feel natural. Just sticking with it can be the most difficult part.

Q: What achievement is your proudest moment so far?
A: At Ohio State we won the national championships junior year and my senior year I tied for third individually. My first two years I got completely rocked at the tournament. Being able to come back was a huge accomplishment. I started to be able to outperform at a tournament that meant as much as the NCAAs was a huge moment for me.

Q: What is your favorite country you’ve visited while fencing?
A: France. I had a really fun time in France. That place is wild!

Q: How has moving to the OTC changed your life?
A: It‘s pretty much changed everything. I use to work part time substitute teaching. I put grad school, jobs and all that stuff on hold. I have to train all day every day. I had to take a year off from fencing because I had no money and nowhere to train. Most people retire after college. Seth Kelsey invited me out here and I wanted to see what it was all about. It changed my life completely.

Q: Some of you may know that you used to have dreads. What made you cut them and what can we expect for the future?
A: I guess I needed a change. I was definitely one of those guys who got a lot of enjoyment from upsetting my conservative coaches. Shaving words, fro-hawks of all sorts, dying it blonde, barrettes. I don‘t know what I am going to do with it but it will definitely be loud.

Q: If you could star in a reality show, which one would you choose?
A: I would want to be on one of those “For the Love of Ray Jay,” but it would have to be for me, so “For the Love of Jason.”

Tag(s): News