Miles Chamley-Watson: Winning by a Whisker

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Miles Chamley-Watson

Miles Chamley-Watson Photo courtesy Penn State University

8 Points. 

After a full year of competition and over 5,000 points earned, that is the amount of points that separated being on the Olympic team and being the replacement athlete. caught up with Miles hours after the announcement of the Olympic team in Virginia Beach, VA

Miles: It feels incredible now that I know that I am a member of the Olympic team.  All stress is gone now that I know that I am a US Olympian!  It was an extremely stressful year!

It was one heck of a roller coaster ride to get here!

Miles: It was real hard knowing that you had done well over the season and then start seeing your results decline.  It was almost like seeing it slip away through your fingers.  You see some chances here and there throughout the year that you could have capitalized on, but didn’t.  You can’t imagine the stress!

Also, Garek is a great friend and it sucks that I had to fight him to get that spot.  If I had finished 7th or 8th and he won, then our roles would have flipped.  It’s just crazy how close things were!  There was less than 10 points after all of the thousands that were possible!

What type of extra training did you do this year?

Miles: I took my senior year off at Penn State so I could train for the Olympics.  I’ll be going back to school in the fall and hopefully I’ll have a couple of medals in tow!  Woo Hoo!

When I looked at things, I needed to get rid of all of the distractions to train because Penn State are full of distractions!  HA!

My coaching staff, parents, and family have been helping out so much!  You know it takes a lot of effort to accomplish something like this.  It has been great that they have been soooo supportive throughout this whole time of the ups and downs.

Miles Chamley-Watson (USA) fencing for a medal in Shanghai. Photo S.Timacheff /

What type of training did you do?  More world cups or training around the world?

Miles: I took time to train one-on-one more with my coach Simon Gershon.  I would also fence with Race Imboden and Jed [ed. note. Dupree] and did we did some training camps in Italy.  That was immensely helpful.  It was good to branch out a bit and fence more at different places.

What are you going to do now that you know that you are on the Olympic team?

Miles: I’m going to take a day off so I can relax and enjoy the moment and then I am back to training again.  I am getting ready for Japan’s world cup and the other world cups leading to the Olympics.  There is still a lot more fencing left.

What type of things are you doing to train?

Miles: Well, typically I train five to six days a week with drills and bouting and stuff like that.  I do a lot of lessons and I do some intensive stretching a couple times a week.   I try and do a few fun things during the week, but most of the time it really is full time training.

What was it like knowing that you were ranked #2 in the world last year?

Miles: That was around Feb of 2011 and then at the end of the season, I finished up at #4.  When I was going into Zonals in Reno, I was #2 in the world.  I was like I could win this!  I was really pumped up about this, but when I went out in the quarter finals, I really started second guessing myself.   It was really frustrating and that is when self-doubt really started to creep in.

So what was it like after Zonals?

Miles: It was like, “Oh, this really stinks!”  and I really had to think what I am going to do next?   Thankfully, my support system rallied around me and picked me up and got me going again.  I really couldn’t have done it without them.

Any last things?

Miles: Again, thanks to my family and friends, Simon, and God!  I’m excited about this!

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