Not only being a Stanford student and Outer Sunset Academy’s star fencer, Alexander Massialas takes home the silver medal in fencing and his Bay Area fans are cheering for him all the way.
Alexander Massialas, is now the world’s top-ranked foilist and now, at the unusually young age of 22, an Olympic silver medalist.
The son of three-time Olympian Greg Massialas, Alexander became the youngest athlete ever to win a men’s foil Division I National Championship at age 16 in 2010 – a year after competing on his first Senior World Team at 15. Alexander grew up watching fencing and says that when his father started the Massialas Foundation, he decided to take up the sport at age seven.
Not only was Alexander the youngest member of the men’s U.S. Olympic Fencing Team in 2012 at 18-years-old, but he was the youngest male athlete from any sport on the team. The anchor of the U.S. Men’s Foil Team, Alexander led the squad to a silver medal at the 2013 Senior World Championships – the first medal ever for the U.S. Men’s Foil Team at the event.
Still, he is the first American man to medal individually since Peter Westbrook in 1984, and the last time an American man won individual silver was even longer ago: 1932. He could have been the first American man to win individual gold in any of fencing’s three current weapons.
There hasn’t been much competition partly because the structure of fencing in the U.S. makes it all but impossible for the country’s best fencers to compete in perpetuity. Or until their mid-30s. And it doesn’t take one of their fancy degrees to figure out why.
“It’s hard to keep competing at a pro level past a certain age,” Massialas said. “Especially once you’re out of college, don’t have a scholarship and actually have to find a place to live and all that kind of stuff.”
In neon-yellow sneakers, Massialas whizzed across the strip on Sunday, switching directions quicker any of his opponents. That dizzying movement had a demoralizing effect. It would be like a tennis veteran getting tired out by a younger player sprinting between the net and baseline—or, better yet, like a certain basketball player’s style.
Alexander credits his coaches with being the greatest influences on his fencing career: “My father has been there throughout my whole career. He and my other coach, Dean Hinton, have been there for every step.”