(Courtesy U.S.A. Fencing)
As an elite international fencer, Soren Thompson ’05 has built a remarkable résumé in the last decade. He won the NCAA epee title in 2001, his freshman year at Princeton; placed eighth in the World Championships in 2003; and made an impressive showing at the Athens Olympics in 2004, reaching the epee quarterfinals. Since graduating with a degree in art and archaeology, he’s been a regular on the international circuit and a frequent member of the U.S. national team. There’s not much that he hasn’t done.
But even by Thompson’s high standards, 2011 has been a remarkable year. At the U.S. Division I National Championships in Portland, Ore., April 15, he won gold the for the first time in his career, topping hometown favorite and former Olympic teammate Cody Mattern in the final bout. Two weeks later, he was part of the U.S. epee team that captured silver at a World Cup tournament in Germany. And last week in Stockholm, he earned a bronze medal in a Grand Prix international event, his first trip to the podium in fencing’s top-flight series. That showing solidified Thompson’s ranking as the No. 2 men’s epee competitor in the United States and kickstarted his bid for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. (Qualifying events began April 29.)
“There is more pressure and more intensity at the competitions now that qualifying has started,” Thompson told USA Fencing after the tournament. “It’s always like this during an Olympic cycle. I recommend young fencers who are aspiring to become Olympians to see events like this one to prepare for when they will compete for qualification.”
Click here to read about two undergraduate fencers vying for spots on the Olympic Team.
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