Paly fencers win gold at 2015 Junior Olympics

Wesley Woo, Author

Senior Royce Wang (middle) poses with his Cardinal Fencing teammates after winning gold at the Junior Olympics this past weekend. Wang will be fencing at Stanford University next year. Photo courtesy of Royce Wang.

Two Palo Alto High School students are gold medal champions after fencing at last weekend’s Junior Olympics in Virginia.

Senior Royce Wang was part of the Cardinal Fencing junior men’s sabre team that won gold in Richmond, Va. last Saturday, while junior Julian Knodt took home gold in the individual junior men’s foil division.

Wang said that the win, first and foremost, meant a lot to his team and his club.

“It’s the first title we won as a club in [the] men’s team event,” Wang said. “It was a team event, so it didn’t offer any points [that go toward individual national ranking] – it was only about medals and club glory.”

However, Wang added that the win still carried personal significance as well.

“It’s one of my last Junior Olympic events before I join the Taiwanese national team,” Wang said. “It was a good jump start for my individual event the next day. It took a lot of pressure off [of me].”

Knodt, a member of the Massialas Fencing Foundation in San Francisco, attributed his win to multiple factors.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Knodt said. “I guess the most noticeable things I could point to would be good coaches, lots of experience in past tournaments and practice. I try not to think about how things will end up. I just try to fence and worry about the end result after it’s all over.”

Knodt also emphasized that despite this achievement, he remains future-focused.

“Before this tournament, I qualified for international Under 16 events,” Knodt said. “With this result, I hopefully can qualify for Under 19 international events. … I’m just going to keep practicing and try to improve my fencing.”