Knee Injuries in Female Athletes

In the last couple of weeks, I unfortunately had an opportunity to learn a lot about the knee injuries in female athletes – primarily because my daughter had a bit of a scare (which thankfully turned out to be minor).

It turns out that female athletes have an inordinate number of knee injuries.  While there is some debate about the underlying reasons (some think it has to do with hip geometry of post-adolescent female athletes, others think that its the lack of weight training that girls do after puberty), the answer does seem to indicate more stringent physical training for these competitors.

I’ve attached some research and information from the University of Cincinnati that was sent to me – I encourage all female athletes and their parents/coaches to read it (and any other information that they can get their hands on).  Then, I’d encourage our women fencers (or those who are responsible for our women fencers) to speak with their doctors and coaches and develop a training plan to improve strength around these very important joints.

We can encourage these athletes to do the training necessary to reduce the incidence of these injuries – and prolong their enjoyment of our sport.  Thanks!

Gary Zeiss


Banned Substances in Fencing

Today’s news gives us a somber reminder that all competitors need to use caution – and make sure our competitive children use caution – when it comes to banned substances.  Italy’s Andrea Baldini – one of the world’s best men’s foil fencers – was excluded from the Beijing Olympics for testing positive for a banned substance.  While Mr. Baldini is disputing the test, for him the damage has been done, as he will be missing this chance to medal in the 2008 Olympics.

Banned substances can be tricky.  They include a number of Over-the-Counter and prescription medications, as well as many homeopathic remedies.  Also, some substances persist in the bloodstream long after their therapeutic benefit has been experienced.  It behooves each of us to know – and to make sure that our kids know – what these substances are and how to avoid them.

The USADA web site has a number of resources that can guide us when it comes to which substances can and cannot be used.  Please refer to it regularly – and remember to check any prescription and OTC remedies that you or your child athlete may wish to use.

Our Olympians

I wanted to wish our olympians the best of luck in Beijing!

  • Doris Willette (Women’s Foil)
  • Gerek Meinhardt (Men’s Foil) – and also the youngest US male athlete!
  • Jason Rogers (Men’s Sabre)
  • Gerard Moreno (Wheelchair)
  • Scott Rodgers (Wheelchair)
Congratulations!  Safe travels… and bring home some bling!

The next few months


Welcome to the new Pacific Coast Section web site.  Over the next few months, as we transition to a new PCS administration, this web site will contain updates and information that I hope you will find useful.

The first thing I would like to do is offer my sincere gratitude, and encourage you to offer your sincere gratitude, to Frank van Dyke.  He ran the section for 13 years – pouring his heart and soul into it.  The result was a group of events that were exceptional at this level – both in quality of fencing and the event experience.  Trust me when I say that far more goes into this job than one would expect – and Frank was the engine for a section that has excelled over the past thirteen years.

Continuing the fine work of Frank will take lots of collective effort.  I hope that we can count on each of you to help where possible. 

Again, my sincerest “thank you” to Frank and those who have helped him over the years.
Best regards,