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Losers Rule

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by , 12-06-2011 at 11:57 AM (1075 Views)
Alexandr Romankov is often remembered for his ten World Championships and five Olympic medals, and is generally considered one of the greatest fencers in history. However, what is often overlooked--and, perhaps, is far more interesting--is that Romankov's early fencing career was unexceptional. He spent many years without any great success in the sport. He loved fencing, however, and had a coach that insisted that, with diligence and patience, Romankov would eventually excel, so he continued to train hard.

The Soviet national coaches and fencing federation were so unconvinced of Romankov's prospects as an athlete that it was only in 1974, after his diligence and patience paid off and he won every national competition, including the USSR National Championship, that he was finally permitted to join the national team and compete internationally. In fact, although he had already won every domestic event, he was told that anything other than first place at the Nationals would mean he would not be on the national team. One month later he won the World Championships*.

Success is often romanticized as something magical or...

Read the rest on the Sheridan Fencing Blog.

Updated 12-13-2011 at 08:08 PM by Jason



  1. Allen Evans's Avatar
    So...if I'm finishing...last, I'm actually getting better? :-)

    Good entry, Jason. I talked to Romankov once, and he said much the same thing as you did. I also talked to one of his younger teammates who told me that when he would come into club, Romankov would be there bouting, or using the target dummy, or doing footwork with a coach. Everyone would train, and then, at the end of training, Romankov would stay a little later to use the target dummy, do footwork, or take another lesson....

    Of course, it wasn't all just mindless. It sounded like he had a plan, a "theme" for every training session.

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