One of the goals of the West Coast Fencing Archive is to put together an oral history of fencing on the West Coast. We are tracking down anyone who has an interesting fencing story to tell.
To that end, WCFA set up our cameras at the Nationals that were held at the San Jose Convention center. The organizing committee was gracious enough to give us a room and we spent the course of the tournament talking to a wide variety of fencers and coaches.
We spoke with Peter Burchard, president of the USFCA, who spent his formative fencing years in the Bay area, taking lessons from a wide variety of coaches. One of those was Ion Drimba, the first Romanian Foil Gold medalist. Drimba took first place at the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City.
Drimba came to the United States after he became dissatisfied with how the Romanian athletes were being treated by the government. He first landed in Tuscon, Arizona but he eventually ended up at the Pannonia Athletic Club. It was at Pannonia Mr. Burchard took lessons from Drimba.
While there is controversy surrounding Drimba, in this instance Burchard mainly talks about Drimba’s ability as a fencer and a coach.