NON-bike related: 2 drink celebration tonight

melensdad

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Just happy tonight. 3 years ago I started on a journey with a young Russian saber fencing student who became my student. When she left Russia she was ranked 8th in the country individually and was on the Gold Medal winning Russian saber team. I met her at 16 years old when she showed up at my fencing club to take a lesson that I had arranged. I didn't think much of it. But I watched her practice, watched her lesson. I had never seen a fencer of this skill level. Her coach that night was a national medal winner, best coach in Chicagoland, I brought him down for her. I simply watched in amazement. Sent a text to her high school coach, who is actually not a coach, but really just a club sponsor, that she needed to do a lot of work to keep this kid's skill set up.

A month later I was her new coach and the new coach at the school for saber. She won every bout at every tournament in our high school conference and consequently the gold medal in every event. At Christmastime we started traveling to national competitions with me as her side-strip coach. East Coast, West Coast, Midwest. Anywhere there was a national or international competition we could get to we flew there. She was too good to stay in the Midwest, too good to have me helping. I got her a coach in Boston, he was better but still not good enough. She traveled with me & my family, but he coached her at events. Started shopping for colleges for her. Visited Stanford, Ohio State, Northwestern, Washington University, Harvard, Boston College, Yale, Columbia and Notre Dame.

Ultimately she was recruited by ND, my family acted as her surrogate parents, she is now a freshman at Notre Dame. Made the varsity team. Made the varsity traveling team. Qualified for the NCAA championships on an individual level (only 24 fencers get to compete per weapon per gender, with a maximum limit of 2 qualifiers per university).

Today the Notre Dame team won the NCAA National Fencing Championships, she's on her way home on the team bus with the trophy. I'll be on campus in a couple days to pick her up, she stays with us for school breaks so we'll have her here for Easter.

I had very little to do with her skills but I know my family played a big part in getting her to college and helping in other ways. Very proud of our Dasha, her team, and happy for her coach and her school. So yup, 2 drinks to celebrate tonight.
 

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melensdad

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Dasha reports that Notre Dame is having an all day party today for the fencing team. They arrived back to campus sometime after 1am on the team bus. Not sure what the celebration will entail in these days of mask wearing and covid. But I suppose any party during covid is better than no party.

She gave up a chance to be on both the Russian Olympic and Russian World Fencing Teams to come to school here in the USA. At 18 years old she beat one of our current US Olympians in a major national tournament. FWIW, female fencers tend to reach their 'peak' around 30 years of age.

It was not supposed to happen but it worked out to be a very happy accident for our family that we became part of her life and she became part of our life due to some bizarre promises made by a high school fencing coach. We now have a national champion 'daughter' and, if you can't tell, we are really proud of her.

Dasha will be back home with us on Thursday for a long Easter weekend.


E9DF861C-7BCA-4A87-95DC-03E4ED4333C3.jpeg
 

TNHoosier

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Great story. Definitely something to celebrate.

Now, the BIG question.........How and where did you score a bottle of Pappy?
 

melensdad

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Great story. Definitely something to celebrate.

Now, the BIG question.........How and where did you score a bottle of Pappy?
I know a guy.

Honestly the George T Stagg is better bourbon. In fact I think its the best available.

But I have a collection of fine and rare bourbons that rivals most Chicago bourbon bars so I've been doing this for a while. The owner of a large local adult beverage emporium allows me to go, unattended, into his office and drink for free. He even lets me bring guests. So I'd have to say that he considers me a loyal customer.
 

TNHoosier

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I know a guy.

Honestly the George T Stagg is better bourbon. In fact I think its the best available.

But I have a collection of fine and rare bourbons that rivals most Chicago bourbon bars so I've been doing this for a while. The owner of a large local adult beverage emporium allows me to go, unattended, into his office and drink for free. He even lets me bring guests. So I'd have to say that he considers me a loyal customer.
:cool:
 

melensdad

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They left me unsupervised so I took a phot with the trophy and I’m now taking credit for the team win 4F40FE44-CB4D-4E71-B6DD-A45FBEE16168.jpeg
 

melensdad

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Spent the day at Notre Dame. Dasha won Most Improved Fencer. She was also awarded an NCAA Championship trophy because she was on the squad that won the team championship trophy.

Got home in time to get to my fencing club for our Novice tournament. My students won 1st and 3rd places in that event.

Overall a great day.

and I swear I did not hold the camera upside down!

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the Ferret

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Obviously you shouldn't operate a camera after 2 drinks lol

J/k

Congrats your involvement with the young lady has obviously benefitted you both
 
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melensdad

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Obviously you shouldn't operate a camera after 2 drinks lol

J/I

Congrats your involvement with the young lady has obviously benefitted you both
For the record, I took that photo on campus after only drinking a Starbucks coffee!

And thanks, there is a very long backstory to how this girl ended up at a high school with a miserable fencing team, it became a major issue between me and her team coach. I won't post what I actually feel, but it all ended up with her in a good place. She was my student (but I couldn't teach her anything) during her junior year in HS. I knew she was in the wrong place. She moved to Boston, to another quality school, but more importantly to a fencing club that could actually help her unlike my, mostly recreational, fencing club. Even while she was in Boston we had almost daily contact and she traveled to events with my family.

Its an interesting thing to start helping a kid and end up with a new family member. She turns to my wife for advice about boys, she asks for help understanding American culture, her mom even asks for advice about various college majors. Dasha even has her own bedroom in our home and I tried to teach her how to drive (she hit my neighbor's mailbox) and also tried to teach her how to ride (thankfully only fell on the grass) so she is now only a passenger! We have become very entangled in Dasha's life and she is ours and we are all happy about that.
 
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