One of the Bay Area's 70 some-odd Olympic hopefuls is out of the running, and he threw a bit of a fit as he was losing. San Francisco-born Alexander Massialas, 18, lost a men's foil match today to Russian competitor Alexey Cheremisinov, and the final score was 15-6. His dad, Greg Massialas, is the Olympic foil coach, and he said his son "has a great presence but it wasn't here."
The Mercury-News makes a big deal out of Massialas's tantrums during the match, comparing him to John McEnroe. But if you actually watch the match (which we just did), you mostly only see a kid frustrated with himself for losing so quickly he fell apart in the quarterfinal after winning a first-round match with Canadian Etienne Turbide. Yeah, he bangs on his helmet and curses himself a little bit, but basically, it's a normal fencing match. Massialas is headed to Stanford in the fall, where he'll be a freshman.
What is fascinating to us is that we had no idea modern fencing now included these futuristic helmets and suits that come equipped with digital sensors and lights indicating when a fencer has been hit. Also, every other country wears a plain black mask, but the American competitors including another teen fencing prodigy, Race Imboden, who also lost today have to wear this obnoxious stars-and-stripes masks.
Anyway, if you have some sort of cable or satellite subscription, you can sign in to NBC's convoluted Olympics website and view the video online. Fair warning: The entire fencing video here is over five hours long. The Massialas-Cheremisinov match happens around 3:30:00 mark. Best of luck.