Alan Chernomashentsev is one of the top fencing competitors in the world, having won medals at several competitions. He and his family make their home in the Nocatee area, where he teaches fencing classes at the link.
You have achieved some incredible success in fencing. What honors, medals and awards are you most proud of?
The biggest honor of my fencing career was being a member of the U.S. Veterans World Team. I earned a spot on this team in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
Some of my most memorable fencing results include a gold medal at the 2010 National Championships and the White Tiger Clemson University Championship. This victory was where I earned my first “A” rank while fencing in the USA.
How did you discover the sport of fencing when you were young, and how did you develop your skills in this field?
I discovered the sport of fencing when I was 9 years old in Lviv, Ukraine. I have trained in this sport ever since then.
In the process of my growth as a fencer through practicing and competing I developed a strong passion and loyalty towards fencing. This was the foundation for my fencing skills.
What qualities does a person need to become good at fencing?
I think the most important quality needed to become a good fencer is perseverance. The athlete should stay focused regardless of the circumstances. The results of intensive training do not appear immediately; they only surface over time. These principles carry over to life lessons a student can carry with them beyond the sport. A fencer will also develop qualities such as speed, agility, strength and flexibility. These skills require constant training to maintain and improve.
You are also a coach. I read that you teach your students not only to perform well when they are fencing, but also to develop good character. Can you tell me about that?
During the three minutes of a single fencing encounter, the fencers will face both mental and physical challenges. These challenges can be so strong that they may even overpower a fencer's desire to win. A strong and resilient character helps fight this challenge and turn their mindset towards victory. A student should constantly seek self-improvement, put in hard work and not look for excuses. These are some of the basic principles to develop and maintain good character in life and in sports. I encourage my students to exhibit these principles in all aspects of their life.
I saw that you teach fencing at the link. How did you become affiliated with this facility in Nocatee?
My family recently moved to the Nocatee area. I started to watch the daily news in the area and heard of the link, developed by Raghu Misra. I liked the concept of a community multipurpose facility and stopped by to offer my skills and knowledge of fencing. We believe fencing at the link is a good fit because of their mission to offer people of all ages the ability to learn, play, think and do things they have never experienced before.
You have seen many different parts of the world. What do you like best about this area in Northeast Florida?
What I like best about Northeast Florida is how this area is growing and developing. Here, people have a chance to write history. In other parts of the world, such as Europe, I have noticed that most of their notable achievements are from the past. I am excited to see how Northeast Florida will grow and what accomplishments those who come from this area will make.
How do you like to spend your free time?
It always depends how much free time I have at the moment. Sometimes, I spend it watching movies with my family. If I have additional time, I enjoy restoring antique watches. In the smaller moments of free time, I like to read and learn.
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