Thursday, April 10, 2008

Acireale 2008 Fencing Championships

Yes, I am tired and No, I don't usually wake up this early!

Check out the "Dueling Lemon" mascot

What better way to celebrate my "100th Day in Europe" than to wake up early and drive 5 minutes up the road to Acireale for the 2008 World Championship Fencing Tournament!

The event started on time at 8:30 a.m. featuring an intimidating military and police presence of about 50 for every one spectator.  Needless to say, Jason and I didn't dare to sit in any seats but our own!

This event is for Juniors, under 21, and Cadets, under 17.  There are both male and female divisions.

This morning it was the Junior Men's Saber Competition.  With the Saber you can hit your opponent by either poking them or slashing them.  This is a "Man's Weapon" as was mentioned and preferred by Ross Martin in his duel with Tony Curtis in the sword fighting scene from one of my favorite all-time movies, "The Great Race".

I grew up on swashbuckling movies like "The Three Musketeers", "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Man in the Iron Mask" not to mention the greatest sword duel of all-time, Basil Rathbone vs. Tyrone Power in the original "Zorro"!  They would both skewer Antonio Banderas 5-0 in under 45 seconds flat!

Needless to say I was pumped up for the action and was not disappointed except for the no blood part and the fact that nobody's limbs were hacked off.  Otherwise it was a very fun event!

If they only let them use these...

The Russian team checking out the action

A maximum of four matches at one time.

First one to 5 "touches" wins!

Gu Bon from South Korea, on the left, is SO fast!

Wagner, Gu Bon's German opponent, knows you can't hit what you can't see.

One of the Williams sisters, Venus I think, relaxing before the start of the Women's Foil competition

I WAS hoping they would do the
"Cut the Lit Candle in Half  Without Moving the Candle" trick
but no one even tried.

Maybe that great Zorro movie moment move is only done in the adult competitions.

Fencing Fever Hits Sicily

Kids in the streets of Acireale are already challenging their classmates by yelling "En Garde!"

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