At the World Fencing Championships on Tuesday in Milan, Italy, Jewish fencer Eli Dershwitz created fencing history by becoming the first American male to win an individual sabre title.
The No. 1-ranked Sandro Bazadze was upset by the 27-year-old, two-time Olympian, and grandson of Holocaust survivors, 15-6, in the sabre final. However, Dershwitz’s semifinal triumph may have been even more noteworthy: In order to beat three-time Olympic gold medalist and current world champion Ron Szilágyi, he overcame a 10-4 deficit.
According to NBC Sports, Dershwitz stated, “I’ve been working most of my life for this occasion, this competition, and towards Paris 2024.”
I’m hoping that this will be my third Olympic Games.” Dershwitz earned two gold medals in the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel.
He had his bar mitzvah at the Conservative Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, and studied fencing at Harvard University.
He competed for the United States in the Olympics in 2016 and 2020, but he did not win a medal in either competition.
Dershwitz stated to Hillel International prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics that he views himself as a “proud member of the Jewish community.” “I’m happy to compete as a Jewish-American at the Olympics.
Throughout my road to the Olympics, the Jewish community has been incredibly supportive, he remarked.