Thursday, October 05, 2006

Homeschooler in the News . . .

. . . or at least, she would be, if her sport was gymnastics or figure skating or spelling or poker.

Homeschooler Becca Ward, 16, who fences out of the Oregon Fencing Alliance in Portland, Oregon, won the senior women's saber world championship in Torino, Italy, on Monday, finishing ahead of 2004 Olympic medalists Mariel Zagunis (also of OFA) and Sada Jacobson, who took the silver and bronze medals. (You can see video highlights of the final bouts at fencingchannel.tv.)

As of today, Becca now holds four world championship titles. In April, she won the individual championships in both the Cadet (under 16) and Junior (under 19) women's saber, and was a member of the gold medal junior women's saber team as well. If the American women's saber team performs as expected in their team competition on Saturday, Becca would become the first person to hold five fencing world championship titles simultaneously. As it is, she's the first American to win a senior fencing world championship, and I believe she's also the youngest of any nationality to do so.

Watch out, Beijing.

UPDATE: The American women's saber team ended up with the silver medal, losing 45-42 to France in the gold medal match. Becca did her part though—she came into the last bout of the match with the Americans needing 10 touches to overtake and defeat the French team. She only missed it by 2 touches.

Ah, well—four simultaneous world championships are nothing to sneeze at.

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