National champion Ohio State fencing squad will be honored in Washington, D.C.
COLUMBUS, Ohio President George W. Bush and his staff at the White House in Washington, D.C., will welcome the national champion Ohio State fencing team next Tuesday, June 24, when the Buckeyes will be honored and photographed with the President.
Log on to www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com that day for a live blog that will include updates on the trip and photos from the event.
Hosting the NCAA fencing championships for the first time, Ohio State totaled 185 points during the four-day competition March 13-16 to out-last Notre Dame by nine points. It marked the third national title for the fencing team (1942, 2004) and the 57th overall national team championship for the OSU athletics department.
NAZLYMOV GOES FROM USSR TO WHITE HOUSE
As the head coach of the Soviet Union Military Fencing Team from 1976-90, Vladimir Nazlymov has met several Soviet heads of state, including Leonid Brezhnev (1964-82), Boris Yeltsin (1991-99) and Vladimir Putin (2000-08).
Now, as the head coach of the Ohio State fencing team, the 10-time former world champion will lead the Buckeyes to be honored with President Bush in Washington, D.C.
When a White House staffer called Nazlymov to set up the visit, the OSU coach, who speaks broken English, initially misunderstood the request.
“I say, You mean White House at Penn State?’” Nazlymov said laughing when he recalled the phone conversation, noting the Buckeyes fence in the White Building when they compete in University Park, Pa. “He say, No, White House with President.’ And I say, President Gee?’”
After a little more conversation, the nine-year OSU fencing coach then understood the request was not related to Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee. Nazlymov was still a little skeptical, so he gave the caller contact information for Heather Lyke, Ohio State associate athletics director, who handles fencing and set up the trip.
BUCKEYES TO BRING GIFT FOR PRESIDENT
During the ceremony with the President, the Ohio State fencing team will present a gift to President Bush. When they do, it will not necessarily be a mask or any other type of gear worn or used by an OSU fencer.
Nazlymov said the team plans to present the President with a gift symbolizing the University, not just the fencing program. He said the University is more than 130 years old and academics is always the first priority. Fencing is just a small part of what makes up Ohio State.
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