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What is fencing without Sergey Sharikov?

By: Yasmine Sadoudi

At the young age of 40, Sergey Sharikov, a world-renowned saber fencing champion, has died. The Russian legend was killed in an automobile collision on June 6th, 2015 and has left the world of competitive fencing in a state of shock and the Russian Fencing Federation (RFF) mourning the loss of one of their star competitors. The accident leading to his death occurred as he was driving an ATV along with a large group of motorists, when his vehicle had suddenly changed direction, causing him to collide head-on with a police car in the opposite lane. The police officers driving the colliding car have been hospitalized and are currently recovering from the crash.

SergeyAfter having won two Olympic Gold Medals, received an array of world championship titles, and placed several times at the Maccabiah Games, it is obvious that Sharikov contributed to his nation’s prominently intimidating reputation in swordsmanship.

While investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the sudden change of direction of his vehicle, there is but one thing of which we can be certain: this misfortune has cost the RFF one of its most skilled, fierce competitors, and the team’s overall success at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil now pends on the RFF’s ability to find a suitable replacement for Sharikov.

Sharikov’s death now begs the seemingly inevitable question: What is fencing without him? It is apparent that Sharikov’s influence on the world of fencing was immense, as he was considered one of the best – if not the best – fencer alive. But more than that, Sharikov had an effect on the sport as a whole. He brought a certain grace to the playing field that was proven irreproducible by his fellow competitors, and he brought a sense of meaning to the sport.

His fierce, competitive nature was unmatched by any other fencer, and his passion for fencing has never wavered nor diminished. Having been a fencer since the young age of 12, Sharikov channeled his love for the thrill of the sport into his actions, as can be seen in his competitions. Without him, the world of competitive fencing has not only lost one of its primary participants, but it is also missing a large quantity of passion, fearlessness, and ardor for which it is known. The contributions to the sport from Sharikov are part of the reason fencing is as exciting and inspiring as it is today, and we must ensure that his legacy be carried on for generations of future fencers to come.

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