Greek Canadian sabre fencing Olympian Joseph Polossifakis, along with members of the Quebec fencing federation, gave a riveting demonstration of their sport in downtown Montreal on Wednesday.
An outdoor fencing strip was set up along McGill College Avenue, where the expert fencers gave a demonstration of sabre fencing and explained the sport to passersby.
The Greek-Canadian medalist joined Canada’s fencing national team in 2009 and just one year later he was part of the sabre team which won a silver medal at the International Fencing Federation (FIE) World Junior Championships.
In 2011, Polossifakis won two medals at the Pan American Games, helping the sabre team win gold while claiming an individual bronze medal for himself. He won an individual gold at the Pan American Championships in 2012, and ranked 23rd in the world during the 2011-12 season.
A concussion put a pause to his athletic career, but fortunately the Greek-Canadian athlete recovered just in time for the start of the Olympic qualification process in April of 2015. Polossifakis called his recovery “a minor miracle.”
During that same year, the Greek-Canadian fencer competed at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, where he won two silver medals. Some minor injuries that he sustained did not stop him from making his Olympic debut at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. He ranked in the top two in the Americas, outside the top 14 fencers, and 23rd in fencing with the individual sabre.
Polossifakis was born on August 21, 1990 in Montreal to Emmanuel Polossifakis and Anastasia Pavlounis. He began fencing at age 12 on his school team, and had wanted to represent Canada since watching a member of his fencing club compete in Athens in 2004. He graduated from McGill University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce.
With information from the Canadian Olympic Team official website.