Daryl Homer, a 26-year-old from the Bronx, N.Y., born in the Virgin Islands, became the first American in 112 years to win a silver medal in men’s individual sabre, according to USA Today.
Homer is also first U.S. man to win an Olympic medal in individual sabre since Peter Westbrook won the bronze at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Westbrook actually gave Homer entree into the sport through his Peter Westbrook Foundation, which teaches fencing to New York-area kids of color. His mother enrolled him there in 15 years ago after seeing a commercial on TV.
“I wouldn’t have found an access point to fencing without Peter, so I probably wouldn’t have been here,” Homer said.
The outlet reports that Homer and Westbrook now live blocks apart in New York City and stay in touch; Homer watched videos of Westbrook’s 1984 Olympic performance to prepare for the games.
Homer lost the gold medal match Wednesday to longtime rival Aron Szilagyi of Hungary, 15-8. Szilagyi also won the gold in London four years ago, where Homer finished sixth.
“I’m just very, very pleased,” Homer said. “Just happy to be on the podium, happy that I competed, happy that I left it all out there. I think I just overthought the match a little bit, got a little of the heebie-jeebies.”
Read more at USA Today.