Friday, January 14, 2011

Thinking of Claus-Peter Folgner...Master of all Fights

Today, I was thinking of my Fencing Master. I cherish the days when I was fencing with my kids, Kelsi and Zachary in the hustle bustle of life and driving an extra 50 miles and special bouts for years upon years. Self injuries, life ventures, and his own life challenges has made changes to occur.  I love the strict discipline  and sportsmanship Peter inflicted upon me or was it the "special" chocolates.  I feel very fortunate to have known such an athlete and the beauty of his life. Respect and Honor.  ~Thanks to Ed Ploy for the video~

This year’s recipient is a gentleman who has spent 56 years in the
sport of fencing and is currently retired from a career job but still active
competing and teaching in his sport.
In 1949 Harry Truman was President of the United States, the
Cold War was heating up, and Germany was slowly rising from the
ashes of World War II. Against this backdrop this young man took up
fencing for the first time. In 1953 he immigrated to the U.S.
He immediately went into the military service. He has competed
internationally, first in Germany; then in France, 1951-52; Tokyo and
Korea in 1955; in Hong Kong in 1956; and in the USA from 1953
to present. In 2004, at 72 years of age, he was the second oldest
three-weapon fencer in the country. As late as 2004 this man was
ranked in the top 15 in the world in all three weapons that constitute the
sport – foil, epee, and saber.
During 2003 this man was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and
had to have his esophagus removed. The doctors were amazed at his
rapid recovery, estimated at 2 months faster than normal from a cancer
that has a cure rate of less than 20 percent. His desire to “get back to”
fencing was his main driving force in the fast recovery. He is known to
fiercely compete against a younger fencer in one match and then coach
the same person in their next match against another competitor.
Within a year after his surgery, he took first place in the
Rob Roy Epee Tournament at the Renaissance Faire. In this one-touch
tournament, he took top honors among 40 fencers from Lebanon,
Philadelphia, York, and Washington, DC. In 2004 he competed in the
summer nationals in the 60-plus veteran division and finished 5th in the
saber, 11th in the foil, and 12th in the epee. Toward the end of the year,
he traveled to Richmond, Virginia, and competed in the Northatlantic
Cup, a national competition. He competed in the over-40 arena, which
he said was much tougher than the over 60, where he normally fences.
In 2006 he still continues to fence, but at a more moderate
frequency, but gives back to the sport by teaching at the Donald Heiter
Community Center in Lewisburg and a driving force in the
West Branch Fencers Club. His continued involvement in the sport is
driven by his “unrelenting desire to bring the sport of fencing to
everyone in which he comes in contact.”
A couple of his famous responses are: When queried about facing
younger opponents, “The young people can move just a little faster
than me, but I can outthink them,” and when asked how he feels, he
might reply, “I’m still on the green side of the grass.”
In the 2005 games he fenced all three weapons in five competitions
and medaled twice. He has competed in the games for 5 years.
In previous years he has medaled at least once each year, many times
fencing against much younger opponents.
The 2005 Kelly Cup recipient, from Dornsife, Claus-Peter Folgner.
The Kelly Cup is the highest award given by the Keystone State
Games and we believe the most prestigious award given to an athlete in
the State of Pennsylvania for performance in a multisport event. The
award is named for the late Jack Kelly of Philadelphia, who was an
Olympic medalist in rowing, briefly president of the United States
Olympic Committee, and a dedicated leader in amateur sports in the
Commonwealth, the nation, and internationally.
This award is given to an athlete who excels in their sport in the
Keystone State Games, is a force within their sport, and is an active
and positive role model in their community emulating the true
principles of amateur athletics and the spirit of the Keystone State
~Credit to article in Pa Legislature land~


bjmichael said...

I'm sorry to note that "Pete" passed away 1/25/11. He will be thought about and missed by the many people whose lives he touched.

Pat said...

Peter will long be remembered at the
West Branch Fencers Club at DHCC
His enthusiasm and persistence
"electrified" our club and got us the finances we needed to outfit our students in safe equipment that makes us an exceptional organization
We will remember him at all our competitions