Father and son find love and humor in fencing

It's not every day or sport that you get to play with a sword, but for one father and son they have found the love and humor in fencing.

“My father, he was a great sword maker,” described Charlie Sweet in a sarcastic tone. “He was slaughtered by a six-fingered man. Ever since then, I have dedicated my life to learning the art of fencing. I hope one day to kill this man and avenge his death so his soul can rest in peace. This is why I fence.”

Well sort of. While the movie ‘The Princess Bride’ may partly be the reason Charlie got into fencing, there's more to it.

“My cousin went to Catholic Memorial High School,” he explained. “I saw that they had a fencing team. You kidding me, I can really do this? Like why wouldn't I? It was kind of a no brainer.”

Now he's been fencing off and on for the last 25 years.

“More off than on or I'd be better than I am today and would have avenged my father's death already,” he said with a smile.

But fencing is less about pretending to avenge his father's death and more about his son.

“I did it and I thought it was pretty cool so I went back again and again and I just really got into it,” said Charlie’s son Oliver.

A few years later, the two still fence together at the Milwaukee Sport Fencing Academy

“Fencing has brought me joy,” Charlie said. “It's been a great thing for me in my life and so I'm happy to share it with him.”

Now at 11 years old, Oliver dives into the strategy, embraces the physical test and appreciates the simple things about fencing.

“I like attacking people with a sword,” Oliver stated. “Like not everyone gets to stab people.”

Of course it's all meant in good fun and truly just part of the sport. Each fencer wears the proper equipment to prevent injury, and a sensor system tracks the score but for these two there will always be just one goal.

“I do fencing because I need to avenge my grandfather’s death,” Oliver said with a laugh.

Like father like son.

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