It didn't take me long to appreciate the sport and start to want to be a part of it. Then I had a brief conversation with some parents about the cost of membership fees, tournament entry costs, travel and accommodations. For me, it might be an interesting hobby, but quick math had me thinking of the photography gear that could be in lieu of fencing costs.
I understand that a person doesn't need to get that involved but it might be one of those things that you enjoy so much that you commit fully. What cinched not trying fencing for me was watching a wheelchair fencing video. It just didn't have the excitement I had hoped. Add to that that I am not even sure if there are a pair of fencers in chairs in the city to practice with and it would seem limited, with a low ceiling, for what one could do on a hobbist level.
That doesn't mean that it lessened my enjoyment of the tournament and how much I appreciated being given the opportunity to photograph this event. The competitors were fine people, as passionate about their sport as any athlete I've met. Many of their shouts, yells and even screams of frustration and victory were startling at first but certainly a testament to the passion.
Of course, photos like the one below just make the event. Both of this little guy's parents are skilled fencers and the comment was made that he and Sharianne Schlam's daughter, of a similar age, might produce a world champion fencer with a legacy like theirs... twenty years from now. Who knows? Maybe this photo will really matter at someone's wedding decades from now.
I will end this series letting the final photo, and the impressive maneuvers of the competitors, speak for themselves.