(United States) – Alexander Massialas, a Greek-American from San Francisco, California, won the silver medal in the Men’s foil competition for fencing. His father, Greg Massialas, was also an Olympic foil fencing competitor in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics. He is also Alexander’s coach, but he is quick to point out that he never had to push his son into the sport. Alexander simply showed an interest from a very early age and Greg was always there to teach him and support him with his goals. However, despite his early interest in the sport, Greg made Alexander wait until he was seven years old in order to begin learning about the sport. Alexander also earned the silver medal at the 2015 World Fencing Championships and also the 2013 NCAA title in individual men’s foil. He’s currently a student at Stanford University.
The Olympic men’s foil event took place on Sunday, August 7, 2016. He made it to the final round against competitor Daniele Garozzo, who was from Italy. Garozzo won the match 15 – 11. Massialas is also competing in the men’s team foil competition with fellow Olympic teammates, Gerek Meinhardt and Miles Chamley-Watson. On Friday, August 12, 2016, they will compete against Egypt in the quarterfinal round. The United States hasn’t won a medal in the team foil fencing event since 1932 when they took the bronze medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Interestingly enough, that is also the year that the United States won their last Olympic medal in the individual foil fencing event when Joseph Lewis earned a silver medal.
Greece has 92 athletes competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. However, individuals of Greek origin such as Massialas are competing under different flags. Many of these individuals emigrated from Greece due to the economic crisis. Others were born outside of Greece, such as Massialas, who was born in California.