from the Gary Van der Wege, Road to London Facebook page...
Hard to get a wi fi signal in Malchow so pardon the delay. My sabre fencing was fair although I made the cut and nearly upset the top Pole in DEs. I looked forward to a better showing in epee, but my elbow quickly gave out, and every parry 6 made it worse. Finally had to withdraw from pools as I couldn't even raise my arm.
KYLE — Gary van der Wege was among the best fencers in the country when an SUV slammed into the back of his motorcycle in 1992, sending him to the hospital for three months and six surgeries.
Doctors harvested muscle from his stomach for his leg, which they warned him he could lose. They saved the leg, though it is an inch shorter and stiffer. He moved from his hospital bed to a wheelchair, to crutches, to a cane.
As he recovered, he started to coach again, teaching students how to lunge, parry and riposte while he stood in one place.
He walked with a limp but he could walk, so he never considered competing from a wheelchair until Les Stawicki, a U.S. National wheelchair fencing coach, suggested he should.
"When everybody's sitting, everybody's the same," van der Wege said.
He lost his first match, but today he's a better fencer sitting than he ever was standing.
He's a six-time U.S. National Champion. He won the gold medal at the Pan-American Championships in 2011. He competed in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens.
At 57, he'll again travel with Team USA to the Paralympic Games, this time in London. And the City of Kyle, where van der Wege lives, is crowing about it.
The city named May 15, 2012, Gary van der Wege Day. He posed for a picture with the mayor, his son and members of the Kyle United Methodist Church, who have helped raise money for his athletic endeavors.
"Everyone on council thinks Mr. van der Wege is pretty awesome," Mayor Lucy Johnson said. "We're really proud."
Van der Wege said it was frustrating adapting to his new decreased mobility, but he considers himself fortunate, in part because when he's done fencing, he can stand up from his wheelchair.
"It would be nice to be young and flexible and have a body that didn't hurt every day," van der Wege said. "But you've got to deal with what you've got."
Van der Wege drives south about three times a week to the San Antonio Fencing Center where he coaches aspiring fencers, some of them disabled.
It was the fencing community, he said, that was there for him when he had his accident. And the group of about 100 fencers at the San Antonio center is diverse, including artists, businessmen and technologists, he said.
"I think everyone sort of has this secret Zorro in them," he said.
He was drawn to fencing at 22, in part because he wanted to be better than his older brothers, who had taken up the sport — a combination of physical and psychological endurance, he said.
"You can't just beat someone physically," he said. "You sort of have to beat them in a game."
Last Edit: Jul 9, 2012 0:07:03 GMT -6 by LongBlade
minaesfanjani: please contact me by MINA_IEEE_E@YAHOO.COM
Jul 22, 2019 0:09:48 GMT -6
minaesfanjani: Hello, I am mina and I am 31 years old ,I am going to go Edinburg Texas until next Month, I was a member of national team of IRAN,please help me for finding a club because I have time there, i wana doing fencing
Jul 22, 2019 0:08:46 GMT -6
schlager7: Bryn Ralph teaches at the junior college/
Mar 10, 2018 10:19:42 GMT -6
Thomas: Does anyone know of any fencing in Tyler, Texas?
Jan 10, 2018 12:45:06 GMT -6
pditty: Hello! Looking for any information on instruction for a child in the Tyler, TX area? Thank you!
Oct 1, 2016 18:42:43 GMT -6
mmezest1997: Hello - moving soon to Texas. My kids participate in fechten here in Germany. They are interested in continuing when we move.
Apr 10, 2016 9:33:24 GMT -6
navyfencer: To finish post started about Art Olsen, He was the originator of the "Silverton Highlands International Fencing Tournament. He will be greatly missed.
May 13, 2015 7:20:54 GMT -6
navyfencer: A sad note to older fencers, Art Olsen of Durango CO passed away in Dec. 2014. He was a friend to all, a classical fencer extrorda
May 13, 2015 7:16:19 GMT -6
navyfencer: Does anyone know the whereabout's of Patrice Caux
May 13, 2015 7:09:57 GMT -6
navyfencer: Does anyone know the whereabout's of Patrice Caux? I fenced with him during our early years in Denver
May 13, 2015 7:07:42 GMT -6
greekfire: Gyroscope balls? Who carries them?
Mar 19, 2014 6:26:24 GMT -6
bobb121: Has anyone used one of those Gyroscope balls before
Mar 18, 2014 10:41:58 GMT -6
joevisconti: What are you asking, torque?
Feb 19, 2014 7:35:44 GMT -6
torque: hey i heard about this but i never got any mor einformation! is this still living!?
Feb 11, 2014 16:48:17 GMT -6
schlager7: A lot of clubs won't go younger than 10 or 12, but a few take students as young as 7. (I know because there are competitions for youth 8 & under at some tournaments).
Aug 22, 2013 8:52:30 GMT -6
clapous71: HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE
Aug 21, 2013 16:03:30 GMT -6