SEPTEMBER 16, 2009
I’m so giddy I can barely write, but here goes!
Daria Schneider and I went to the White House today for an event with President Obama and the First Lady in support of Chicago’s Olympic Games bid. You never really know how much time you’re going to get to spend with the President when you visit, but today was really above and beyond my wildest dreams and truly a great day for fencing!
It started with Michelle Obama during her speech saying that she saw Barack trying to fence before they all came out and he clearly doesn’t have it! Then when Obama started his speech he began it by saying that, “I always wanted to try fencing, and maybe you guys,” he said pointing at us, “can give me a few pointers.”
After the speeches, President Obama and the First Lady made their way over to us as we were talking to the assembled kids and they spent significant time with us! We showed President Obama a few moves, he played with the light saber and foam sabers, asked us questions about the sport, checked out my Olympic medal from Beijing (he said he’d never seen one before!) and then even refereed the demonstration between Daria and myself! At one point, he fist pumped Daria during the match when she scored on me!
Unbelievably surreal! Right now, pictures of us fencing with Obama are going out all over the internet! Fingers crossed that this publicity will help us with ratings for our World Championships, get more people to come try it out (You couldn’t ask for a better endorsement of the sport!), and help us land those still elusive sponsorships.
Either way, this was really one of the most amazing experiences of my life!