For three decades, the Peter Westbrook Foundation has brought the sport of fencing to communities throughout New York City that otherwise would not be exposed to the sport.
This summer in Tokyo, four fencers from the organization will be competing for the United States.
The story starts with Peter Westbrook, a pioneer in the sport of fencing, who competed in six Olympic games winning bronze in Individual Sabre in 1984.
Among the Olympians coming from the foundation is Daryl Homer. Homer comes from the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx. He is preparing for his third Olympic games after winning the silver medal in Individual Sabre in 2016, which was the first for an American men’s fencer in 112 years.
“The first games, you’re elated. Your second games you really want to prove to get back there. The third one’s kind of like… It’s tough, it’s tough. There’s a lot of pressure, you’ve done it twice. I medaled in the second one so that increased expectation,” Homer says.
While Homer is the veteran of this year’s group in Japan, 24-year-old Khalil Thompson is the newcomer. He qualified for his first games in dramatic fashion, winning the gold in Sabre at the North America Cup in May, the final qualifier for Tokyo.
While Olympians have become commonplace at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, Keeth Smart was among the first back in 2000. Smart finished his Olympics career by winning silver in 2008, and now serves on the board for the PWF, helping to direct the future of the program.
They’re inspiring not only the younger generation, but generations for years to come of how they carry themselves and how they give back.