FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Never before has the United States fencer won gold twice in a row in the Olympic games, let alone sweep an individual event. But this year the United States women's sabre was able to accomplish such a feat. Mariel Zagunis repeated a gold medal performance (giving the U.S. its first gold medal of the 2008 Olympics), while teammates Sada Jacobson and Rebecca Ward took silver and bronze, respectively.
Women's sabre was in a position to plow through the team event, but it wasn't going to happen in Beijing.
The all-star team of Zagunis, Jacobson and Ward lost 45-39 to Ukraine in the semifinals.
However, Poland won a close match against Canada in the semifinals with team anchor, Aleksandra Socha, with a 45-44 victory. Poland went on to lose to the Russian Federation 45-36.
But why mention the U.S. and Poland' Because United States' Rebecca Ward and Poland's Aleksandra Socha are both coming to North Carolina.
This fall, Rebecca Ward will be starting her freshman year at Duke in Durham, N.C. and fencing for Duke's Division I varsity fencing team. At around the same time, Aleksandra Socha will be moving to the Fayetteville area where her husband is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. Aleksandra will begin coaching at Fayetteville's All-American Fencing Academy.
All-American Fencing Academy's head coach, Gerhard Guevarra, said, "We've been getting more calls about taking fencing classes. The sport of fencing is slowly gaining more popularity."
Guevarra was a World Cup fencer and North Carolina's 2008 Division Champion. With Socha's extensive experience, the All-American Fencing Academy is looking to to building a team of highly competitive fencers, and growing a young group of fencing enthusiasts.
"We already have a talented group of young kids. This weekend, a group of fencers, ages 7 to 11 are returning for an intermediate camp. They had so much fun in the beginner's camp, they wanted to continue their fencing experience. I truly think that North Carolina is going to become a powerhouse in United States fencing," said Guevarra.
The All-American Fencing Academy has a consistent group of teens who compete regularly at a local, regional and national level. The academy's assistant coaches also include John Page, former teammate of Peter Westbrook, 1984 bronze medalist at the XXIII Olympic Games at Los Angeles.
For more information about the All-American Fencing Academy, please visit or call 910-728-4924.