Local Olympian Tim Morehouse Tells Us All About Fencing
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I graduated college and began working for Teach for America as a seventh-grade teacher, and I was training in the evenings. When I was teaching, my middle school had about 1,300 kids and no gym equipment at all. PE was only twice a week, and obesity was a huge problem in the school. The food that the kids were eating at school was really poor. Some of them would be eating Skittles or drinking Diet Coke for breakfast.
Did that experience propel you to make a difference for kids?
Yes. I am actually starting a foundation, Fencing-in-the-Schools, and we are going to be launching programs starting in February, the pilot programs. We are doing a lot of clinics and things right now, though, to test out our curriculum and lay the groundwork.
What is one of your proudest moments as an Olympian?
This past [London] Olympics, I was the captain in the meeting for the flag-bearer election. Getting my teammate Mariel Zagunis selected as flag-bearer in fencing is probably my most proud moment as an Olympian. I am as proud of the things that I’m able to do for other people as I am of the things I do for myself. I love being an advocate for kids and people who have done great things, so I couldn’t have been more proud to help get her elected flag-bearer. She was a symbol for both the small-sport athletes who are sort of overlooked at times in our coverage, and also the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
Do you have advice for kids who want to get into lesser-known sports programs such as fencing?
A lot of those sports are out there. We have fencing clubs in almost every city across the country. In New York, there are a lot of clubs, but they are just not ground level for you to see. You’ll be surprised at how many of those programs are out there for you to track down with just a little bit of research.
Will fans be able to see you competing in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games?
I’ll be aiming to make this year’s World Championship team in fencing. I have to figure out my life right now, but another run at the Olympics is not out of the question. I’m getting married in December and launching this program right now. Those things are priority, but if I can get those things going and feel like I have the time to commit to training, then maybe you will see me in Rio 2016. I haven’t determined that yet.
In addition to his Olympic career, Tim Morehouse is involved with Right To Play (righttoplayusa.org), and initiatives through the Partnership for a Healthier America (ahealthieramerica.org). He is also the author of “American Fencer: Modern Lessons from an Ancient Sport.” His foundation, Fencing-in-the-Schools, will launch its website and pilot programs in the coming months. For more information, visit timmorehouse.com.
To learn how your child can start fencing, read our article about the benefits of fencing for young children.