Paris Olympics 2024 (Team USA): Meet Fencer Colin Heathcock

Colin Heathcock, 18, is a rising star representing the United States in fencing,. He concluded the 2022–2023 season as the top-ranked junior men’s saber fencer in the world after winning the gold medal in the men’s Saber at the Tunis Grand Prix. He qualifies for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris as well.

Junior Fencer Qualified For Paris Olympic 2024

In the world of American fencing, a young athlete is making waves. Colin Heathcock, an 18-year-old fencing talent, finished the 2022-2023 season as the top-ranked Junior Men’s Saber fencer in the world.

From the start of 2024, Colin Heathcock has been on an incredible run. Competing in various World Cups, regional championships, and the World Championships, the teenage fencing prodigy finally earned his spot at the Paris Olympics 2024, which will be his first Olympics.

Heathcock qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024 by achieving notable success in fencing competitions. He secured a gold medal in the Men’s Saber event at the Runis Grand Prix, solidifying his position on the road to the Paris Olympics. In the final of the Men’s Saber event at the Runis Grand Prix, Heathcock defeated Tunisia’s Fares Ferjani with a score of 15-9 to claim the gold medal.

Colin Heathcock Early Years in China

Colin Heathcock was born on December 20, 2005, in Beijing, China. As a young child, he studied at Tsinghua University Primary School. He can speak both Mandarin Chinese and English fluently. Heathcock holds dual citizenship from Germany and the United States.

Colin Heathcock Fencing Team Family
Image: Colin Heathcock with his Fencing team in 2020 (Source: Colin’s Instagram)

When Colin Heathcock was 10 years old, his family moved to Palo Alto, California with his brother. It was there that he was first introduced to saber fencing by George Pogosov, a six-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist in fencing, at Stanford University.

For his education, Heathcock attended Harvard University. He further developed his fencing skills at the Christian Bauer Academy and Manhattan Fencing Center, under the guidance of Coach Christian Bauer.

Colin Heathcock’s first introduction to Fencing by his brother

Heathcock’s journey into fencing began when he and his brother tried out various sports in the past, but they found fencing to be the most enjoyable for them.

On October 12, 2018, Colin Heathcock took part in the October NACC Adet tournament for the Men’s Saber event, which was an A3-level competition. He placed 105th in that event. On October 14, during the same tournament, he competed in the Division I Men’s Saber event, an A4 level event, where he finished 126th.

Also Read: Paris Olympics 2024 (Team USA): Meet Fencer Eli Dershwitz

Later that year, on November 10, Colin Heathcock won first place in the Youth-14 Men’s Saber event at the November NAC tournament. This event was a B3-level competition. At the same tournament, he also secured 54th position in the Cadet Men’s Saber event, which was an A3 level event.

On January 7, 2019, Heathcock participated in the January NAC tournament, finishing 160th. He also competed at the USA Fencing Anaheim SJCC Tournament, where he took first place. Additionally, Colin Heathcock took part in the USA Fencing National Championships & July Challenge, securing the 79th position. In the same tournament on July 1, he placed third in an A3 level event.

Colin Heathcock Recent Years and Olympics

In 2020, when Colin Heathcock was just 14 years old, he became the youngest male saber fencer ever to win an individual Cadet European Championship title.

In 2022, while representing Germany, Heathcock achieved great success at the Cadet and Junior World Championships in Dubai. He won the gold medal in the Junior men’s saber event and the silver medal in the Cadet men’s saber event. Also in 2022, while fencing for Germany, Heathcock made history by becoming the first male saber fencer to win three gold medals at a single Cadet and Junior European Championships.

On January 7, 2023, Colin Heathcock finished in 36th place at the January NAC tournament in the Division I Men’s Saber event, which was an A4-level competition. Colin Heathcock secured 3rd position at the Division 1 Championships/April NAC tournament in the same event and class in April 21. On October 27, he placed 26th at the October NAC tournament in the same event and class. He also finished 11th at the December SJCC + Division 1 NAC tournament in the same event and class.

Earlier in 2023, at just 17 years old, Heathcock became a three-time world champion after winning two gold medals at the Junior World Fencing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He also made history as the first male USA saber fencer to win back-to-back individual Junior World Championships, although his first title was while representing Germany.

On June 20, 2023, Colin Heathcock achieved another milestone by winning his first senior gold medal for Team USA at the Pan American Championships. He won the gold in the men’s team saber event, fencing alongside Eli Dershwitz, Mitchell Saron, and Andrew Doddo.