He’s aiming for the Olympics!
A 14-year-old just won a gold medal at the U.S. Fencing National Championships, News 12 reports.
Nazir Primus is a 14-year-old from Brooklyn, New York. While most kids his age pursue football, basketball, and baseball, Nazir decided to go in a different direction. Four years ago, he began fencing, something his father, Latir Primus, said he wholeheartedly supported because of its universal benefits and the family’s familiarity with the sport.
“Nazir’s uncle was an internationally ranked fencer and introduced the sport to him. I decided to support it because fencing is a great sport that requires as much critical thinking as it does physical acumen. Some people call it ‘physical chess,’ Primus told Because Of Them We Can.
While skirmishing with his father on the streets of Brooklyn, Nazir was able to get better with his strategy and technique, the sport over time becoming less of a hobby and more of a viable career option.
“I just started as a casual thing. But as I started doing it more, I thought this could be something I’m good at and something I wanted to do,” said Nazir.
Nazir eventually began working on his skills at the Peter Westbrook Foundation. During the pandemic he got to work with Columbia University fencing coach and Olympian Aki Spencer-El and Daryl Homer, another Olympic silver medalist.
His years of hard work have now paid off. Recently, Nazir won a gold medal at the U.S. Fencing National Championships in Minnesota, an accomplishment the teen admits he never thought was possible.
“It just made me really happy, like getting a call from an Olympic silver medalist, telling me congrats. I want to do the same thing as them,” Nazir told reporters.
His dad says that Nazir now has higher hopes, taking inspiration from the Black fencers who have come before him like Homer, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Peter Westbrook, and Keeth Smart. It is the teen’s hope that his story will inspire other Black youth.
“They are all Black fencers who won Olympic medals for the U.S. Nazir wants to inspire other Black kids to take on the sport of fencing,” said Primus.
Currently, Nazir is training for next season, where he plans to defend his title. His ultimate goal is to compete for TEAM USA in the 2028 Olympics.
Photo Courtesy of Latir Primus