Eli Dershwitz: From Bar Mitzvah Boy to Sabre World Champion 🤺✨

TL:DR; Jewish-American Eli Dershwitz brings the heat in Milan, fencing his way to the top as the first US man to grab an individual title in sabre at the World Championships. Grandson of Holocaust survivors, this two-time Olympian is more than just a guy with a blade. 🏆🔥

At a balmy championship in Milan, Italy, Eli Dershwitz proved why you should never bring a knife to a sabre fight. He sliced and diced his way through the competition, ultimately becoming the first American dude to win an individual sabre title. But who’s counting? (Apart from the entire nation and a gazillion fencing fans). 🌍🤺

This 27-year-old champ, who once celebrated his bar mitzvah at the Conservative Temple Israel in good ol’ Massachusetts, isn’t just fencing for fun. He’s got deep roots, being the grandson of Holocaust survivors. Imagine the strength and resilience flowing in those veins!

Remember No. 1-ranked Sandro Bazadze? Yep, Dershwitz totally schooled him with a 15-6 score in the sabre final. But hold up, that wasn’t even the spiciest match! In the semifinal, our boy Eli faced the three-time Olympic gold medalist, Áron Szilágyi. Talk about pressure! 😱 Starting with a 10-4 deficit, Dershwitz made an epic comeback to advance to the final round. Now that’s some Hollywood level drama right there!

“I’ve been grinding most of my life for this moment, this tourney, and, yo, Paris 2024,” Dershwitz expressed post-win. Paris 2024? 🇫🇷 Could that be his next big dream?

Flashback to his academic days; this guy fenced at none other than Harvard University. 🎓 And while he was at it, he bagged two gold medals at the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel. Talk about multitasking!

Having represented the US in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics (although, just between us, he didn’t snag a medal in those appearances), Eli’s no stranger to the limelight. And while his skills are undeniably top-notch, it’s his personal journey and ties to the Jewish community that truly set him apart. “The Jewish community’s been my rock throughout this wild ride to the Olympics,” he once shared.

Now that Dershwitz has stamped his mark on the fencing world, one can’t help but wonder: What’s next for this sabre sensation? Maybe a movie deal? Or perhaps, just maybe, he’ll be the toast of Paris 2024.

Discussion Question: Considering Eli’s perseverance and dedication, what do you think sets him apart from other athletes? And, can this win inspire a new wave of young fencers to challenge the status quo? 🤔🗡️