COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A record 26 incoming, current, or former Ohio State athletes are heading to the Olympics this summer. Among them are four fencers, all hoping to make some history for their country in Tokyo.
Diego Cervantes is a rising junior for the Ohio State fencing team and will compete for Mexico.
When describing the moment he qualified for the Olympics, Diego said, “It was like a dream come true for me. I don’t know. I felt really, really happy. I cried a lot.”
Making the Olympics is exactly what Diego envisioned when he committed to the Buckeyes. Now he has a chance to win Mexico’s second-ever fencing medal.
“Living here and training here has made me a better fencer. My teammates are better. I get to train better,” said Diego.
Diego’s name and picture will soon be on the wall inside of the Ohio State fencing facility, which features the names and faces of former Buckeyes that have won All-American honors, NCAA championships and appeared in the Olympics.
Among those on the wall are the three other Buckeyes who will compete in Tokyo, including first-time Olympian Marc-Antoine Blais Belanger. He was the 2018 NCAA champion in Men’s Epee.
“The first time I stepped into the gym, I saw the wall and it’s so impressive,” said Marc-Antoine. “It’s not like they have one Olympian or two. Each year, they send multiple people. And they’re not just there just to be there. They’re there to compete. And there’s a couple Olympic medals even.”
Alanna Goldie was a three-time All-American at OSU and is off to her first Olympics as well. She is part of a Canadian fencing team that is on the rise, seeking the country’s first-ever fencing medal.
“We’ve been working really hard and we’ve been really close to medaling a few times and the Olympics are like the underdog’s game,” said Alanna. “You see a lot of the time, the people you don’t expect to win end up winning, and I think that could be us.”
Eleanor Harvey won an NCAA championship in 2016 as a Buckeye and that same year, competed in the Rio Olympics. She finished one bout short of making the medal round. Now, five years later, she’s more confident than ever.
“Just on that grind together every day,” said Eleanor. “And to be at that pinnacle of sports together. It feels right. And it feels earned. And I’m really excited to see how my Ohio State teammates and the rest of the Canadians do because I think we’re on the right path and we’re really excited.”
In all, 15 Ohio State fencers have now qualified for the Olympics, and have won two medals.