The Olympic Games in Tokyo are just three months away, and one athlete from the Bronx is ready to go for gold. Daryl Homer is an Olympic silver medalist fencer whose sponsor, Ralph Lauren, created the uniforms Team USA will be wearing at the closing ceremonies when the Olympics wrap.
Homer competed in the 2012 Olympics and then won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games in men’s saber fencing. He's the first American to win Olympic silver in the category since 1904. Homer told NY1’s George Whipple why he loves the sport.
“I love that fencing is equal parts physical ability, mental ability, emotional control, creativity,” said Homer. “I always feel like when I'm fencing, it's a mix between like a dance and a boxing match.”
Homer said growing up in the Bronx gives him an edge in the sport.
“I think growing up in New York City, for one, just makes you a bit grittier. It makes you kind of think fast on your feet,” he said. “We just have that attitude. So I think a New York attitude and then the Bronx attitude just kind of being gritty and getting things done in hyper-focus, really, that’s really kind of what permeates through my friends when I think about it.”
COVID-19 prevented Homer from competing in fencing for a year, so when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed, he took it in stride.
“As New Yorkers, we know that this city really doesn't stop for anything,” he said. “So seeing how COVID kind of crippled the city really kind of put the postponement in perspective for me. And I understood that it was kind of necessary, given the global situation.”
Homer and Team USA will be wearing gear created by an official Olympic outfitter, Ralph Lauren. The highlight will be the uniforms worn at the closing ceremony. They were created with sustainability in mind.
“I think sustainability today has become a buzz word. But it’s so much more than that,” said David Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s chief innovation officer. “Sustainability today is how we’re going to protect our future and it’s important that every company do their part. The shirt I’m wearing right now is a Polo shirt and it’s made of bottles that have been recycled. Plastic bottles have been turned into this shirt, but the way in which we’ve done it is at the highest level quality. So no one has to question it can be done. We at Ralph Lauren, we’re proving that we can create the best quality product made from the finest materials, and we can make them sustainable."
Homer hopes to be wearing the Gold medal around his neck during the closing ceremony. Gold has been on his mind since he was a kid.
“I think about it a lot,” he said. “Now there's pressure to try to do that. But I think the way to gold is probably the most important thing, and that's just kind of me training on a high level, me showing up and expressing my talent and my ability on a high level with the games and then letting what happens happen.”