The last five years have been long and unorthodox for two-time Olympian Daryl Homer.
Like many gearing up for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Homer is excited the games are right around the corner.
“I think there are things I’m grateful for. I think COVID delaying the games was a tough thing,” Homer told PIX11 News after training at the Fencers Club in Manhattan. “I am grateful for the year to retool, to rebuild and to come back stronger as we head towards the Tokyo games.”
This will be Homer’s third trip to the Olympics. The last time we saw the Bronx native on the Olympic stage was in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Homer made history during those games, becoming the first American to win a silver medal in the men’s individual sabre in 112 years.
“There are amazing athletes that never win championships, there are amazing athletes that never win medals, so each tournament is a different day. Who’s to say I don’t fence better in Tokyo and get bronze or get fourth? It’s about going out on that day and leaving it all out there,” Homer said about winning silver in Rio.
Homer believes one of the biggest differences about Tokyo compared to last two Olympic trips is that he’s coming into this less afraid because he’s more accomplished. Winning gold in Japan would only cement his legacy even further, but his stamp and influence on the sport are already validated.
He’s the number one fencer in the United States, a label he doesn’t take for granted. Homer also takes immense pride in being an African-American in the sport, which is a rarity.
“I live in Harlem and people are like ‘you fenc? On guard,'” Homer explained. “I love being able to be Black in this space and to have my young brothers in this space and to see them prosper and grow as well.”
One of the most remarkable parts about Homer’s fencing career is the introduction. He read about it when he was five years old in a children’s dictionary and then a few years later, his mom got him involved in the sport.
“I remember just being a kid in this sport, wanting the things I have now, and now I am entering a chapter of my career where it’s closer to being finite,” he said. “I definitely want to take advantage of everything I’m doing and enjoy it as much as possible.”