Name: Race Imboden
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Olympic/world championships experience: Imboden helped the U.S. win the team gold medal at the junior world championships in 2011 and 2012. He also won an individual gold and a team gold at the 2011 Pan-American championships. This summer will be the first time that he has ever competed as part of the U.S. Olympic team.
Why you should care about him: Imboden is a rising star in the fencing world, and he hopes to not only win gold in London, but to usher fencing closer to the forefront of America's sports consciousness. Europeans have always dominated the sport, but Imboden now has a chance to balloon the United States' fencing profile. He demonstrated this ability last year when, as an 18-year-old, he defeated four-time world champion Peter Joppic of Germany. In April, Imboden spoke to Sports Illustrated about his vision for the future of American fencing:
Fencing has always been a European thing and the European guys have dominated," Imboden says. "But now the U.S. is starting to be in the mix of guys who are top competitors in the world. Being so young, I want to show people that Americans can mix with these guys, individually and [as] a team.
Sexy-pose threat level:
Previous sexy pose:
Olympic archetype: Tara Lipinski, the spritely American figure skater who won gold in the winter games of 1998 at the age of 15.
Scouting report from some guy on the internet: From Facebook commenter J.a. McBean:
Conan O'Brien must envy you!
Scouting report from home country: Via NBCOlympics.com:
Though he's competed full-time on the senior circuit for just two seasons, Race Imboden has already established himself as Team U.S.A.'s highest ranked male fencer across all three disciplines. At the 2011 World Championships Imboden won three matches, among them a semifinal victory over three-time world champion Peter Joppich. Though he would lose in the quarterfinals to France's Victor Sintes, 15-11, Imboden threw his name up among the sports' best. His standing as a must-know-fencer was solidified when he took home gold at the Paris Foil World Cup in January, becoming the first ever American to do so at the event.
Did you know? Imboden has also tried his hand at music? He likes to DJ in his spare time, and he is currently interning at a record label called Fool's Gold. This is probably a good move for Imboden, as he already has a DJ-ready name. Speaking of his name, it was derived from Race Bannon, a character from the old Johnny Quest cartoon.
Forecast for 2012: Although still young, Imboden should threaten in these Olympics. He's currently ranked fourth in the world in the senior division, and he's peaking at the right time.
Relevant Bob Costas facial expression: