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Peter Burchard

Peter Burchard

Position: At-Large-Director
How Long He's Been on the Board: Since September of 2020

What are your goals?

  1. To emerge from the pandemic financially strong and as an organization that protects the health and wellbeing of the community of our athletes, families, officials and staff.
  2. To maintain and further our competitive dominance internationally, and to exceed our goals in medal count on every competitive stage. The USA on our backs is a badge of honor that announces a formidable opponent to every opponent we may encounter.
  3. To facilitate the health of our existing partner clubs in every corner of the country, both big and small, and to promote and facilitate the opening of new programs in underserved communities and in places who have never been exposed to our sport. This includes promoting programs in schools, colleges and universities, both NCAA and non-varsity, and in community centers everywhere.
  4. To make fencing a welcoming and safe place for everyone. Now is the moment to make systemic change in our organization. This is not the place for bullying, gender inequity, discrimination or prejudice. Ours is a community of all. Our strength is in the diversity of our membership and the multiple contributions from people from every walk of life.
  5. To improve and promote the education of coaches and referees throughout the country. Without coaches, we cannot expand and reach the communities we aim to. Without more well-trained referees, the expansion and excellence of our competitions, including local, regional and national, cannot proceed. International achievements start at home. A great refereeing corps goes hand in hand with a great corps of athletes.

How did you first get involved in the sport?

I first started fencing in college in a rec program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Sound body, sound mind. I felt I needed to cultivate both, and the integration of physical prowess and mental agility found in fencing made me into a lifelong fencer.

Having held so many roles in the sport, what do you love about fencing?

I love the community. I have made friendships and met people from places I never would have, had I not begun fencing. I have seen innovations, and the evolution of American and international fencing in my 50 years of involvement I couldn't imagine before fencing. Fencing is a family, my family.

As the president of the USFCA prior to becoming USA Fencing’s president, did you have any coaches you looked up to and why?

My three principal coaches were: Charles Selberg, who instilled a love of the sport and the fencing community. The "Stro," Maestro Michael D'Asaro, who gave me a work ethic, a wonderful community of excellent athletes whom I still see and communicate with and a spiritual dimension in athletics, and Olympic Champion Ion Drimba, who taught me tactics, strategies and moves I had never encountered. Others to mention were Emil Beck of Tauberbischofsheim, Germany and Delmar Calvert. All of them have passed, but they live in me every day.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a foreign language enthusiast. I have degrees in German and French literature and I continue to practice and exercise my skills in this area all the time. I am a musician. I am a lover of art and visit great museums every chance I get – at home and all over the world.