Bexley fencer eyes 2016 Olympics
|Photo courtesy of Sonja Hutchison
|Bexley Middle School student Aaron Hutchison stands with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus after placing third in his class in fencing.
Eighth-grader Aaron Hutchison is eyeing 2016.
Whether that year's summer Olympics are held in Chicago or anywhere in the world, the Bexley Middle School student wants to be there.
But this 14-year-old has no plans to be a spectator. He wants to have an up close view of the winners‚ podium - as a gold medalist.
He's already on his way.
Hutchison placed third in his class at this month's Arnold Sports Festival, the largest multi-sport festival in the nation. Along with the other winners, he was invited to lunch with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who Hutchison described as a nice guy and funny.
Others honors have included ranking 18th in his class at nationals last year. Everyone who placed ahead of him at the event he had defeated at other tournaments.
"This made me realize that I actually am one of the top fencers in the nation in my age bracket," Hutchison said.
But finding success in fencing didn't come easy. As with any sport, commitment and hard work is essential to success.
Hutchison says he practices three times a week for two hours, and teaches an introductory class at his club. He also helped teach a class at the Jewish Community Center last school quarter. He even practices on a fencing dummy his dad built for him.
"Fencing is an individual and unique sport," he said. "You have to use your mental abilities as well as your physical attributes in order to be good at this sport and accomplish fencing goals."
Hutchison first became interested in fencing in fifth grade through the Bexley Recreation Department. Though there is no fencing team or club at Bexley Middle or High School, he hopes to change that.
"There are a lot of kids that go to Bexley that have taken fencing through the Bexley Rec, but now they think they're too old to go through the rec department," he said. "I know other schools in Columbus have fencing teams, like Hilliard, Upper Arlington and Dublin, because I fence a lot of those high school fencers at tournaments and at practice. It wouldn't be hard to start a club in Bexley if the athletic department will let me."
In the meantime, Hutchison has plenty to keep him busy.
He will travel to Grand Rapids, Mich., over spring break where he will compete in an open tournament against teens and college students. He also will compete in two national tournaments in Louisville, Ky., and Portland, Ore., in April. During the summer, Hutchison will compete in the Summer Nationals in Dallas.
"My long-term goal is to get a scholarship for fencing and do well in college," he said. "This will help me to earn a spot on the U.S. National team."
Hutchison said the Olympics would follow.
"I need to work out a lot more to build my endurance if I plan to make it to the Olympics," he said. "I'd love to make the national team for the 2012 Olympics but realistically it will be 2016. I have to get stronger and fencing older men made me realize this."
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