Well, then it’s a good thing Chamley-Watson has another passion. The 6-foot-4 tattooed foil specialist also works as a fashion model. He’s modeled for Ralph Lauren, who discovered him during the Parade of Athletes in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, and even walked in New York Fashion Week.
“I like modeling — especially the runway, because it’s such a rush, like fencing,” the London-born Chamley-Watson said.
Much like the fashion world does for clothes, the New Yorker pushes the boundaries of his sport. He created a move so unique it now bears his name.
Cool and unexpected, perhaps like Chamley-Watson himself, the move involves rotating the foil around the back of your head to surprise your opponent with a jab.
Chamley-Watson started fencing at age 10 as a means of staying out of trouble, and so far, so good. He’s racked up several career medals, including a gold at the 2013 World Championships in Budapest. He went on to win a silver with the team at that same competition.
Chamley-Watson has yet to find the same success on the Olympic fencing piste. He failed to medal at his first Olympics in London in 2012, and had an equally unsuccessful quest in Rio, where he didn’t progress past the Round of 32 in the individual foil event.
There’s still a chance for Chamley-Watson and his team, however. On Friday, Chamley-Watson single-handedly kept himself and his maybe “super-boring and lame” teammates Alexander Massialas and Gerek Meinhardt in the running against Russia during their team foil semifinal match.
If they win, Team USA will be guaranteed at least a silver medal. If they lose, they could still bring home the bronze, facing either Italy or France.