Volume 92, Issue 64

Thursday, January 21, 1999


Robinson soars above injuries

Kim foils personal spotlight

Competitive hockey returns to its roots

Western rewind

Kim foils personal spotlight

By Dave Elia
Gazette Staff

All for one and one for all.

Mustang fencer Joon Kim holds a strong belief that winning in fencing can only come from team focus and not from the individual. He envisions each member bringing a certain quality to the collective which cancels out or outweighs the weaknesses of a teammate. Western's team stands testament to this theory, Kim said.

The foil squad consists of Kim, Paul Simms, Jeremy Gill and Mike Hasset.

"The team can rely on its dynamics – Paul is the anchor and the most experienced, Mike is the thinker, Jeremy has the emotion and I rely on speed," said the 27-year-old Kim.

Pulling from the resources of his teammates, Kim has found personal success at the varsity level. His individual varsity accomplishments include a first place finish in the West Sectional last year and fourth in Ontario University Athletics. This year he is aiming for higher goals.

"I think this year I have a strong chance to rank top three," he predicted, on this season of competition.

Kim explained fencing consists of three different swords, one of these being foil. The foil is a light, flexible weapon which requires speed and skill to handle. Unlike the ease with which heroes like Zorro can joust and slash through their opposition, Kim said the sport takes a great deal of both mental and physical concentration.

"Fencing really requires a lot of thinking," Kim said. "It's like a chess game in a 100 metre dash."

Now studying his masters in physiology at Western, Kim said he still remembers when he first became interested in the sport. He was only 14 and just entering high school.

"I was always fascinated by Zorro and The Three Musketeers," he recalled.

He began varsity fencing at Ryerson and then continued at the University of Toronto.

"When I was at U of T, I was really inspired by my coach, Ken Wood – he's like my master," Kim said.

Individual honours aside, Kim is banking on the success of the four-man foil team to capture a team gold at the OUA championships at the Royal Military College on Feb. 14.

Head coach John Buchner agreed the team is strong this season.

"They have 50 years experience between the four of them and they are all really intelligent," Buchner said. "We should at least get a silver medal."

Kim's expectations are even higher. "There's no reason why we can't win the OUA championships."

However, before they can bring the banner back to Western, the team must first cut down their rivals, the University of Ottawa.

"They think they are better than us, because they won two years in a row, but we'll beat them," Kim said.

Before the Ontario championships appear on the calendar, Kim will have plenty of competition with the next tournament, East Sectional I, scheduled for this weekend at Queen's.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999