Family Of Fencers Keeps Shining

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Jayden Hooshi, right, scores a point with a leap during a summer fencing competition for which he earned a silver medal. (Photo courtesy of Viv Hooshi)

Jayden Hooshi claimed silver in this year’s U.S. final

Jayden Hooshi, right, scores a point with a leap during a summer fencing competition for which he earned a silver medal.
(Photo courtesy of Viv Hooshi)

Jayden Hooshi, a 14-year-old from Jericho, has already made a name for himself with his passion: fencing. It just so happens that he shares that name (part of it, anyway) with two other accomplished fencers, i.e. his older siblings.

This summer, the Hooshi family’s youngest fencer had the opportunity to compete in one of the world’s largest fencing competitions, the USA Fencing Summer National Championship. Held in Minneapolis, MN, the event featured more than 4,500 of the best fencers in the world competing in groups based on age, classification, gender, and choice of weapon (foil, épée or saber).

Jayden made it to the final round in the cadet category and took home a silver medal. For the past three seasons, he has also been ranked among the top three fencers in his age group in the United States, for which he received a national award patch.

As mentioned above, Hooshi’s older siblings Erica and Dylan, also share his passion for fencing. Erica, the oldest, is currently a rising sophomore at Yale University, where she was recruited for fencing and frequently competes. Dylan is a rising senior at Jericho High School, where Jayden starts this fall and is also part of the USA Fencing’s cadet team. For his part, Dylan has been offered recruitment at a Division I university known for developing US Olympic fencers, according to the family. Dylan also recently won an individual bronze medal for Team USA at the last Pan American Championship in Peru, and was the youngest fencer in the world to compete in the Grand Prix in Turin, Italy.

By email, Hooshi told Anton Media Group that it’s ultimately been a blessing having siblings who have pursued the same sport. “Having siblings who share the fencing passion is helpful because we give each other feedback and direct each other in becoming better fencers,” he said. “We understand the specific challenges and stresses like maintaining a balance between fencing, academics and a social life,” he said.

Outside of fencing, Hooshi is an incoming freshman at Jericho High School. He enjoys playing other sports like basketball, soccer, and team sports.

In 2017, when Hooshi was just 9 years old, he won international medals at the Pan Am Youth and Veteran Championship- one for foil and one for saber.

He was also selected to be part of Team USA and fence in Paris earlier this year. Hooshi noted to Anton Media Group that fencing at worldwide events can be challenging because he must adjust to new time zones while also training.

To compensate for missing many schools days, he also said that he dedicates a lot of his travel time to catching up with schoolwork, which is another challenge he faces.

He said that all things considered, there are so many pros to traveling the world by fencing. “It allows me to widen my friendship circle and get to understand and appreciate other cultures.”

According to the Fencing Academy of Philadelphia’s blog, archaeological and historical evidence suggests that fencing as a competitive sport was already underway by around 588 A.D., during the reign of the Byzantine empire. “But it wasn’t until the late 18th century that modern fencing came about with its two styles: Classical Fencing and modern, Olympic Sport Fencing- each style representing something different but all coming together under one umbrella term,” the group’s site explains. In other words, fencing is likely one of the world’s oldest competitive sports.

At the young age of 14, Hooshi is excited about what the future will hold. “I most likely will be competing in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Italy this coming year as part of the US national team.”

BY JULIA PENCHUK

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