Hundreds of fencers compete in Rosemont

March 10, 2008 4:11:53 PM PDT
When we think of fencing, we usually think of either chain-link fencing or the act of selling stolen property. But for the past four days, the sport of fencing took over at the Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont.

It's the United States Fencing Association's North America Cup. More than 1,200 fencers started Friday, and by Monday there were just a few hundred left. It's a collection of young and old, men and women. And they are aiming to execute the imaginary kill.

"This is the North America Cup. This is where the best in the United States come to try to make the U.S. team to try to shine. You also learn, and it's a camaraderie sport. I've known people here for 43 years. Fencing is forever," said Gordon Gandy, Fencing Coach Stevenson High School.

Physically demanding they say, a better workout than almost any sport - but the veteran fencers say this is much more than just being in better shape than your opponent.

"This demands 100 percent of your concentration. It's far more difficult than any sport anyone has ever been in. They call it physical chess," said Philip Sbarbaro, veteran sabre fencer.