A sabre throwback

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For the past two years, Chicago has had the honours of hosting the Korfanty Sabre World Cup event: in June 2012 at Navy Pier and in May 2013 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  The tradition continues this year in a few weeks as the top sabre fencers around the world will convene once again at UIC.

This year’s Korfanty Cup marks another milestone for me as I shall be one of several official photographers for the event (along with my esteemed colleague in the fencing photography realm, Jamie Toalston of Stabbysox Photography).  While I was fortunate enough to shoot at UIC last year as an independent spectator and freelancer, I had the even rarer privilege of spending several hours up close with a few of these Olympic fencers putting in some last-minute practice at the Fencing Center of Chicago (FCC) a few days prior.  At the time, FCC was hosting the Japanese national sabre team for a week before the Korfanty Cup, allowing them the space for preparation and practice.  Word got out, though, and a few other national teams wished to use the facilities as well.  As a friend of FCC’s owner and his family, my lens and I were afforded intimate access for a few hours with the Russian, Chinese, and South Korean teams; in fact, these were same South Korean fencers who took gold in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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It was not until this morning while looking through my calendar that I realised how close this year’s Korfanty Cup is—the first weekend of May—and that I will soon be on assignment again.  Although I have been bustling through all of the backlogged local fencing tournament sets for some time now, hoping to publish them soon, I decided to take a little break and sift through the photos I took at FCC last year very close to this time.


All images © K. Dao Photography 2013, all rights reserved.