Fencing

Age: 25
Hometown: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Event: Saber

En Garde, Explode: To score a point in saber, a sabreur hits his opponent’s upper body with any part of the blade, which means duels are fast and furious. So Homer, the first U.S. man to win a medal in saber at the Senior World Championships, focuses on squats, pulls, and presses with low weight, and interval training. “It’s keeping everything short, tight, and explosive.” 

His Mental Edge: “If you do all that work and lose your focus at any time in the match, you’re going to be out of the tournament immediately,” he says. So he improves his mental rigor by meditating and visualizing his opponents.

Eyeing the Big Upset: Homer is eyeing elite Russian and Korean fencing teams, two of the sport’s dominant squads. “I love being an underdog,” he says. “We are looking forward to going to Rio and showing these people up.” 

To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics begin August 5.

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