The pistes at the Africa Pavilion are alive with the sound of music.
Rock music, poetry and piano concertos all had a part to play as fencing’s third day of competition came to a head at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
For men’s foil gold medallist Amand Spichiger (FRA) it was the sounds of US pop-rock giants Imagine Dragons which sharpened his desire for success, while Rep. Korean fencer Lee Jueun calmed her senses in the women’s sabre by tuning in to the tinkling of the ivories.
Spichiger, 17, popped on his headphones between bouts and his choice of music hit the right note as he breezed through the elimination rounds with fast footwork and solid defending before nabbing gold in the individual final by defeating the USA’s Kenji Bravo 15-7.
“I like (Imagine Dragons) music, it’s motivating,” he said. “I’m not sure how I’ll celebrate, I think I’ll wait until I get back to France and party.”
Will energetic beats did the trick for Spichiger, it was the more soothing strains of poetry and piano music that helped guide Lee to bronze in the women’s sabre individual.
“It calms my inner self and helps me to control myself,” the 16-year-old said, following her 15-8 victory over Jolien Corteyn (BEL). “It helps me think about how I am going to counter-attack.”
Gold in the women’s event went to Hungary’s Liza Pusztai, 17, who won the final comfortably against Natalia Botello Cervantes (MEX) 15-9.
“I couldn’t let her attack because I knew she has a really strong attack,” Pusztai said, adding that she could not wait to break the good news to her mother in Hungary. I’m going to tell her that I’ve never been so happy in my life,” she said.
Jonas Winterberg-Poulsen (DEN) took bronze in the men’s foil after wise words from his coach. The 17-year-old was trailing his Polish opponent Maciej Bem 10-13 at the time, but rallied to win 15-13.
“We talked about slowing down and taking one point at a time, and it worked out,” Winterberg-Poulsen said.
The advice was, it could be said, music to his ears.