En Garde!

Stuart Hall junior fences competitively on world stage


Dashiell Lin | With Permission

Junior fencer Dashiell Lin takes on opponent at fencing tournament. Lin fenced at the World Cup and will be fencing in the Junior Olympics Feb. 2022.

By Will Burns, Editor-in-Chief

Alongside the commencement of the first full-length Spring sports season since 2019, junior fencer Dashiell Lin reflects on his relationship with his sport as both a student-athlete for the school and an individual competitor on the world stage. 

An eight-year veteran of the sport and one of the school’s 2020-21 Heart of a Champion Award winners, Lin seeks to build upon his existing success while managing a rigorous course load.

“I usually travel to a different state every month for national tournaments,” Lin said. ” I have to ask my teachers for schoolwork ahead of time and schedule when I do my homework.”

While he fences for the school during Spring, he competes year-round for the Massialas Foundation MTeam, coached by Greg Massialas, Team USA’s 2020 Olympic Coach of the Year and two-time Olympian in 1984 and 1988.

“I like how strategic high-level fencing is and that it’s a very mental game,” Lin said. “It’s not all physical, and you really have to really be thinking for every point you score.”

Lin recently returned from February’s Paris Challenge CEP – Marathon Cadet Foil 2022, where he faced many of the world’s top cadet (under 17) fencers. 

“I feel like I’ve seen growth in my mental toughness,” Lin said. “Becoming mentally stronger, controlling my emotions, thinking critically in serious situations, it’s all crucial when I’m under pressure.”

Lin, however, has no fear of pressure and intends to continue competing at the elite level for years to come.

“My goal is to improve in the junior men’s foil national ranking,” Lin said. “Ideally, I want to be recruited and possibly compete at another World Cup in the future.”

According to Lin, despite traveling to places including Utah, Ohio, and North Carolina, fencing doesn’t cause stress in his social life. 

“I try to keep fencing from affecting my social life,” Lin said. “Because I can get ahead of the curve with school work and do homework on the plane, I’m not constantly busy catching up.”

Despite his near-decade of experience and accompanying world-class pedigree, Lin doesn’t believe students can start too late in the sport.

“Even if you start now, you can still learn a lot from fencing,” Lin said. “Since it’s so much of a mental game, it doesn’t necessarily matter how strong or athletic you are if you can learn the tactics.”

As fencing practices began on February 7, there may still be time for prospective students to join who aren’t on a Spring athletics roster. Lin, competing for his club alongside the school team, is preparing for the next big tournament on his horizon.

“I’m competing in the Junior Olympics in Utah later this February,” Lin said. “A strong performance there will certainly align with my personal goals for the future.”