Asian American Fencer Wins First Individual Medal by an American Since 1960

Story tools

A A AResize


Alexander Massialas who is Taiwanese American took the silver in the men’s individual foil at the Rio games Sunday.

He became the first American to win an individual medal in fencing since Albie Axelrod won the bronze in 1960, according to


Before he could enjoy the magnitude of the moment, Massialas had to get over the fact that he fell short of the gold. If he had done that, he would have been the first U.S. man ever to win gold in fencing in the modern era.

His father Greg, who is also his coach, consoled his son after he lost to Italy’s Daniele Garozzo 15-11. Alexander came into the Olympics ranked number 1 in the world.

“I just told him, ‘I’m so proud of you. You fenced really your heart out. This is a great day for you,’” Greg said.

Alexander showed a lot of heart, coming back from a 14-7 deficit to pull within 3 and make it a game. He also came back in the quarterfinals after trailing 14-8 to Giorgio Avola of Italy to advance to the semifinals.

“I’m always out there to fight,” Massialas said. “If anything it (my quarterfinal win) assured me that I have a chance regardless. I can never give up in a bout like that, especially in the gold-medal match of the Olympics. Obviously I might have used up my luck earlier in the day.”

Read more