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Cody Mattern

Board Spotlight: Cody Mattern

Position: Vice President

What does your role as a Vice President entail?

My role as Vice President consists largely of being a board liaison to committees and working groups within USA Fencing. I connect with many working arms of the organization and try to bring to the board a variety of perspectives to discussions on the strategic level during our board meetings as I have a varied fencing experience as a former elite athlete, fencing coach at a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fencing club and vice chair of the Olympic Committees Athlete Council.

You’re also the Vice Chair of the USOC Athletes Advisory Council. What sparked an interest in that position?

As the fencing athlete rep for the USOC AAC, I found that the interaction with this council opened my eyes to the greater movement of the Olympic and Paralympics and how little our athletes were getting critical information. As part of this leadership team, I wanted to help guide and build a better education platform for keeping our athletes in trenches informed and our National Governing Bodies that support these athletes working to maintain the highest standards and best practices to support the athletes making Team USA what it is today!

How did you start fencing?

I got started fencing at the age of 15 when me and my brother, while on a week-long road trip around the state of Oregon, had a debate on who would win a fight between a musketeer and a samurai. Needless to say, we had no real information on the subject and agreed to disagree on who would win but felt that the only honest way to answer the questions would be for one of us to take a fencing class and the other to take a kendo class and six months later to fight. Two weeks later we started fencing and I was hooked and so the debate still rages on! My brother is now a lawyer in the Navy and i was a fencer in the Army, which led to many other debates like, Army vs. Navy, and 'Is the pen really mightier than the sword?' I have never won an argument with my brother but sometimes he changes the subject without warning which I consider the closest thing I will ever get to a win with him when it comes to debating.  

As a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program from 2005-2012, what was that experience like?

My experience in the Army WCAP program started like any traditional military service would. I completed basic training where I received an army achievement award and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) in my military career field as a 92 Yankee, Unit Supply Specialist which is part of the Quartermaster branch of the Army, where I was the distinguished honour grad for my graduating class. While in training, I applied for the program and when I completed supply school I received my first active duty assignment which was to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO as a soldier-athlete with the World Class Athlete Program. 

As an Olympian and World Team Champion, what is your favorite fencing memory?

Not surprisingly, my favorite memory is the work and the build up to the 2012 team World Championship win in Kiev, Ukraine. This group effort with the team was something so long in the making and was truly one of the best memories and best ways I could have asked to retire as an athlete.

Congratulations on recently getting married. How was the wedding?

My wedding this summer was rather fairy tale – getting married in the south of France just outside of Bordeaux at my former coach and good friend Sebastien Dos Santos' family home in the countryside. I was so grateful to all the friends and family that flew to Bordeaux and took part in our special day and everything and everyone really came together to make it special.

Date Created: December 2017