Tue July 31, 2012

A Bay Area fencer slashes her way to the Olympics

Doris Willette practices with her teammate, Gerek Meinhardt, at the Massialas Foundation at Halberstadt Fencing Club.
Mariel Waloff

Up until last week, the legendary sword-fighting scene in The Princess Bride—where Inigo Montoya and ‘the man in black’ show off their skills on a mountaintop—pretty much summed up my fencing knowledge.

“You seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you,” Montoya says.

“You seem a decent fellow, I hate to die,” responds the man in black.

The music picks up, followed by the sharp clanking of swords and it’s all pretty dramatic and entertaining.

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