Foil fencer Nick Itkin on Team USA’s top rankings and high chances of winning Olympic gold

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The Tokyo Olympics will start in just over two weeks, Nick Itkin will represent the U.S. in foil fencing. There are three types of fencing — foil, epee and sabre — and they each have different rules. 

Itkin is a native Angeleno, and he just won a national championship. 

Three men and three women fencers, one in each discipline, will compete in the Olympics, and there will also be a team competition. Itkin will compete as an individual and on the team. 

“I’m 21 and this is my first [Olympics],” he says. “All my teammates have been to a few Games already, they’re much older than me, they’re 29 [or] 30, so I’ll be the youngest one.” 

Nick Itkin after winning his first individual World Cup title at the Paris World Cup in 2020. Photo credit: #BizziTeam.

He grew up in the Santa Monica area and got into the sport at a very young age. “My dad is actually my coach, so I kind of grew up fencing.” 

His U.S. team has a chance at winning gold, Itkin says. “We’re actually ranked number one in the world — our men’s foil team. And we won the World Championships last year as well. ... And we’re probably the favorites. And all four of us [on the team] are ranked top 10 in the world right now.”

With those achievements, he says his team is uncommon for U.S. fencing. “U.S. fencing has grown a lot, and they’ve never seen a team’s strength similar to us right now.” 

At the Summer Games, Team USA will have to beat other high-ranking teams from Italy, Russia and France.