What It’s Really Like to Be an Olympian
Four years ago in Beijing, James Williams won a silver medal as a member of the United States’ Men’s Sabre team (sabre has quick slashing; what you probably picture as fencing more closely resembles the ripostes of épée and foil). This year in London, Williams additionally qualified for Men’s Individual, losing in the Round of 32 Saturday morning. Tomorrow, starting so-early-it-won’t-even-be-bright with a draw against top-seeded Russia, the Men’s Team competes. Hopefully they will last into the early afternoon.
I asked Williams, a good friend, to give me his take on what it’s like to compete in the Olympics, deal with finicky Brits—and live in the Olympic Village, if you catch my drift. When he rang me up Tuesday, my phone told me I was receiving a call from Colorado; turns out he was using a phone provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee, which is based in Colorado Springs. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity, but not probity.