Fencing is one of the originals, debuting as an Olympic sport in the very first modern games 116 years ago. But Mark Woodley had exactly zero years of experience when he showed up at the Iowa City Fencing Center.
For forty years, fencing's been owner Judy O'Donnell's life as a competitor and a coach. She helped Mark into the layers of fencing gear and gave him some basic instruction.
Mark started off with saber, which in a nutshell means the waist on up as well as the entire blade are in play. And his opponent was about the best Iowa City has to offer. Adam Rains steamrolls Mark 5 to 0 in about 40 seconds.
Next up is foil, meaning only the torso is in play and scoring touches can only be made with the tip.
Shockingly, Mark takes an early lead up 4 to 3. That's of course when he loses the final 2 points and the match to 12-year-old Michelle.
Now with complete exhaustion taking over, it's on to epee where the entire body's in play but again only the tip may be used.
It was Mark's youngest opponent of the night, and once again 12-year-old Maggie sends him home with a 5-4 loss.
You can watch Olympic fencing on NBC Sports and MSNBC on Wednesday. Click here for a schedule.
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