RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A Bronx fencer took home silver in the men’s saber competition in Rio Wednesday night.
Daryl Homer, 26, is the first American to win a silver medal in saber in 112 years. He said he had one goal during his match: to inspire.
“I wanted children all over the world to look at my performance and see that all things are possible and that with the right amount of passion, hard work and a lil bit of luck you too can be great,” Homer wrote in an Instagram post. “This is just the beginning.”
The St. John’s University graduate immigrated to The Bronx with his family from the U.S. Virgin Islands when he was five years old. He started fencing when he was five after reading about the sport in a dictionary. He begged his mother, Juliette Smith, to let him take lessons.
His mother took him to a Saturday practice at the New York Fencer’s Club and Homer has stuck with the sport ever since. He is ranked 10th in the world and finished sixth in the 2012 London Olympics.
“Beyond humbled,” he tweeted after his winning bout Wednesday. “This is a win for US.”
Homer lost the gold medal to Aron Szilagyi, a fencer from Hungary. The U.S. has never won gold in men’s saber.
Mayor de Blasio was quick to congratulate the Bronx resident.
With Homer’s win, the U.S. has earned multiple medals in fencing for the first time since 1904. California nativeAlex Massialas won silver in foil on Sunday.