At just ten years old, Ethan Kushnerik shocked a lot of people by becoming a finalist in the International Children’s Fencing Tournament Challenge Wratislavia, a world championship fencing competition in Wroclaw, Poland. Last year, the 37th edition of Challenge Wratislavia included the top-scoring 2386 young fencers of the world attending from 31 countries and 272 clubs. While fencing his way to the gold medal in the Y11 men’s epee category, Ethan did not lose a single match.
Prior to even starting his first year of middle school, Ethan not only won the gold at the World Championship in Poland (Y11 men’s epee category) but earned a bronze medal at the Pan American Championship in St. Cruz, Aruba as well (Y14 men’s epee category). Since then he has also brought home both a silver and bronze medal at the North American Cup (Y10 men’s epee team event and individual respectively).
These accomplishments are made even more remarkable by the fact that sixth grader Ethan has only been fencing for two and a half years. Thanks to the support of the school, particularly that of Mr. Stewart, Ethan is able to dedicate a great deal of his time to practicing and competing around the world, something that allows him the opportunity to enjoy “traveling and spending time with [his] father.” Ethan’s parents say that “when Ethan is competing, he represents himself, his coaches, his fencing club, his school and his school headmaster.” According to them, Ethan’s continued ability to develop and compete is all thanks to the school’s support.
If that wasn’t reason enough for his York family to be proud, Ethan is now, at 11 years old, E2015 rated. As of most recently, USA Fencing ranked him #1 in his region (region 3) in Y12 men’s epee, #3 in his region in Y14 men’s epee, #6 in the country in Y12 men’s epee, and #70 in the country in Y14 men’s epee. After school Ethan trains at the New York Fencing Academy in Coney Island, Brooklyn, and he attends competitions almost every week. Just in April alone, he is competing at the NYFA Youth Challenge here in New York City, the North American Cup in Milwaukee, the New Jersey Division Denise O’Connor RYC, and the Boston RYC. Way to go Ethan!