Zuriel Ko, a Collin County student, excels in the art form of fencing. Recently, Zuriel was invited to participate in Junior Olympics in fencing competition.
Fencing dates back thousands of years with evidence recorded back to as early as 588 AD. In fencing students of the swordplay have their choice of three different types of swords epee, saber, and foil using the weapons to score points on opponents. Swordsmanship has attracted many to the sport including Collin County student, Zuriel Ko.
Ko has participated in fencing since the fall of November 2020. Due to Covid, fencing (a social distance sport) was allowed and Ko began to enjoy the sport. Ko specializes in the saber. He decided on this route due to the competitiveness of the scoring in which users of the saber can be hit everywhere above the waist, while the epee and foil only count when using the tip. Practicing every day besides Sundays and Tuesdays, Ko, who trains at Globus Fencing Academy, participates in routines of conditioning, technique training, blade work, and bouts throughout the rest of the week when he is not resting.
When asked about his improvement over the last few years, Ko shockingly states that he finished last in his first tournament. He received a setback when he dislocated his elbow and was sidelined for eight weeks, but this did not stop him from participating. Ko attended club every day and began refereeing bouts, learning a lot from the people around him. When he was finally able to return to fencing Ko, with a determined mindset finished second place in his tournament and even most recently won his latest regional tournament, which boosted him to a D ranking in the region for cadet. Last week Ko was even invited to the Junior Olympic competition where he was able to duel against the reigning Junior Olympic Gold champion. “What drove me was humility after being sidelined for so long… finally being back I was in the right mindset and even excited to be back.”
Ko enjoys the competition of the sport, saying that the atmosphere during a match is exciting to see who gets the last point. The friendship he has built during this time has also been encouraging and the group supports him on the way. Ko looks up to his coaches at Globus, Coach Lee, who has coached former Olympians and the Korean women’s saber team, Coach Bernard, who is very strict but lives up to what he says, and Coach Rubin, who Ko looks up to as a big brother.
Ko believes the Lord has taught him a lot about patience and perseverance as well as character building throughout his time fencing. “ A lot of those around me are not raised in Christian homes, I have learned that I can be an example and be set apart in a way that glorifies God.” Ko surely has done this even bringing along a fellow club member to church recently. Thank you, Zuriel, for your endurance and amazing story.