No matter what sport, the chance to watch your favourite athletes perform up-close is an opportunity most young athletes can only dream of. However, if you’re a BC fencer (or one willing to make the commute) you can do just that. The Vancouver Men’s Epee World Cup is a competition that has allowed aspiring fencers the chance to learn from some of the highest ranked men’s epeeists in the world.
For some BC fencers, this learning experience has shown great benefit in their own personal journeys. Christina Zozulya and Howard Zhao are two Dynamo Fencing Club athletes heading off to ivy league universities in the US this fall. Zozulya will be attending Yale, while Zhao will be at Columbia University. Beyond their academic achievements, both of these promising young fencers have developed significant resumes of results.
This season, Zozulya secured a gold and silver medal in junior women’s epee across Nationals and the first Canada Cup in September, as well as a bronze medal and a 5th place result in the Senior division at these two events. In 2018, she won a Bronze medal at the Cadet European Circuit in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Zhao has also proved himself on home soil, with numerous championship medals and national titles. Even more impressively, in 2017 he won a gold medal in cadet men’s epee at the North American Cup in Anaheim, California.
(Howard Zhao and Igor Gantsevich – Photo by Devin Manky)
The Vancouver World Cup has been instrumental in developing fencing style, skills and motivation of local athletes. Other fencers like Dylan French (Notre Dame, class of 2019) and Seraphim Jarov (UBC, class of 2023) have not only spectated, but competed in the Vancouver World Cup. In the future, we hope to see even more young fencers pursue their sport both on a nationwide and international scale through the inspiration of the Vancouver World Cup.