Air Force reservist vows return to Olympics


U.S. Air Force fencer Capt. Seth Kelsey loses the Olympic men’s epee individual bronze-medal match, 12-11, to Korea’s Jinsun Jung in sudden-death overtime on Aug. 1 at the ExCel South Arena in London. (U.S. Army photo/Tim Hipps)

Air Force Capt. Seth Kelsey plans to return to the Olympics in 2016 after finishing fourth in fencing at London.

“I’d like to do one more [Olympics],” Kelsey told Air Force Times. “We have a new crop of guys coming up and we’ll have a team event in 2016. I’d like to improve on my individual results and then I’ll lead our next generation to hopefully a medal in 2016.”

He was edged out of winning the bronze medal in overtime in the men’s individual epee event. Still, he is satisfied with his performance in London.

“I got the shots that I wanted, both to make the gold medal match and for the bronze,” he said. “Sometimes one has situations that don’t go your way but I took my shot.”

Kelsey has been fencing for 20 years, ever since his friends first invited him to try out the sport. When he’s in a match, Kelsey makes sure to keep his mind in the moment.

“I tend to focus on the preparation that you are doing: how you want you to be controlling your footwork, imposing your game on your opponent and trying to eliminate any thoughts that are outside that,” he said.

Kelsey is a reservist with the 310th Force Support Squadron based out of Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. – the same unit as Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, 29, who was one those killed in the July  theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.

“I was pretty sad, it was tough losing a member,” Kelsey said. “I just worked with him. But I don’t think it detracted from what I was doing. I think it kept me a little motivated.”


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