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NBC OLYMPICS: U.S. fencer Jason Pryor Wants His 'Greatest Fencing Day'

08/05/2016, 3:30am CDT
By Joe Posnanski

You may have heard the story of fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. She will become the first American athlete to ever compete at the Olympics wearing a hijab, a headscarf commonly worn by Muslim women as a symbol of modesty. She was the focus of the fencing pre-Olympics press conference, of course, and she spoke wonderfully about making the United States Olympics Team just a little bit more diverse. She spoke from the heart about wanting to change American perceptions about what being Muslim means.

It was beautiful and so important in our particular moment of time. We will revisit her during these Games.

But, I have to admit, for most of it I was on the other side of the room cracking up and talking martial arts movies and big dreams with my new best friend, America’s only Olympic epee fencer, Jason Pryor.

The Summer Olympics are funny; they are so big, so vast, that as an observer you find yourself just getting tossed and turned in its wake. NBC, of course, with all the magic that 2,000 people can muster, takes you effortlessly from venue to venue, event to event, so that you’re always in the right spot, always at the peak moment, always at the big finish. Here, though, you just follow your instinct, your sense of smell, your curiosity and just hope for the best.

And so here’s what happened on Day 2: I came to talk with Ibtihaj Muhammad like all the other reporters, only in the introductions I heard the fencing PR person say, “And from South Euclid, Ohio, this is Jason Pryor' ... more>

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