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Monday, July 13, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Tim Morehouse, Silver Medal winner of the Men's Saber Team at the 2008 Olympics

Tim Morehouse was born and raised in New York City in Manhattan and also in Riverdale in the Bronx. There are very few Olympians who are born, raised and actually train in NYC and he is one of them. He won a Silver Medal at the 2008 Beijing Games in men’s saber team. The club where he trains is the Manhattan Fencing Center located on 39th and 8th. His teammates and he have the goal to win the first gold medal in men’s fencing history while also bringing fencing to a new level of national recognition. Tim has been out on the NYC social scene promoting himself and his sport this past year and attended some of the hottest events in town while helping to promote great charities such as Boys Town and Right To Play. Also he is a motivational speaker and has mostly been speaking to companies in NYC.

Tim Morehouse has forged a unique life out of his hard work, focus and talent. From humble beginnings, he fought his way past a series of obstacles on the road to becoming an Olympic Silver Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a three-time NCAA All-American, six-time member of the U.S. National team and the current No. 1 ranked men’s saber fencer in the USA.

Tim is also one of the stars behind the rapid growth of the sport of fencing in the United States.

In addition, he is an established motivational speaker and the national spokesperson for Kid Fitness, an organization geared towards fighting childhood obesity in this country through such strategies as an informative and entertaining show on PBS and a remarkable program that has been introduced into thousands of classrooms around the country.

Having made numerous television appearances, including the Today Show, Oprah and various news programs, Tim has brought his unique sport to new levels of exposure while being an exciting and amusing guest on those shows. He also has been the subject of an Emmy Award winning NBC-TV documentary, has modeled for Esquire magazine and has given numerous motivational speeches in front of thousands of people.

While it is rare for someone to break through in any athletic endeavor when they are in their late 20’s, Tim did just that - - improving his national ranking each year since 2000 before going on to medal in the Olympics. In 2000, Tim simultaneously began his pursuit of his other passion - - education - - by becoming a fully-certified NYC schoolteacher and joining Teach For America, a program geared to eliminating educational inequity in the US by enlisting the nation's most promising future leaders to instruct these young students. Tim was assigned 7th graders who he taught for three years at Mirabal Sisters School in the Washington Heights section of NYC. He also earned his master's degree in education from Pace University in 2003.

Tim's next goal is to win the first Individual Gold Medal in US Men's Fencing history at the 2012 Games in London. If experience is any teacher, Tim Morehouse will be bringing home the gold three summers from now. Whom You Know is so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker! He is the first Olympian we have featured and we LOVE the Olympics!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Tim Morehouse for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: How did you get into fencing?
Tim Morehouse: I started fencing to get out of gym in Middle School at Riverdale Country School and nearly got kicked off the fencing team in my first year. Luckily for me the coach gave me a second chance!

What is your first fencing memory?
I remember that I started fencing with my best friend and we use to just enjoy hitting each other with the sabers and that you didn’t get in trouble! What young boy doesn’t want to play with swords and hit his friends with them?

What made you stay in Manhattan of all of the places to practice your sport?
The top coaches for our sport are in Manhattan and I love Manhattan so that really worked out! Most Olympians train in the training centers in Colorado Springs or other locations that are more isolated. I love that I can train hard every day and also have a vibrant, rich and diverse life experience here in the city.

What should people know about fencing that most people do not know?
Fencing is a very sexy sport…obviously lol….but it’s just an amazing sport to try. It’s very physical, but there is also a strong mental aspect to it. People call it a mixture of boxing and chess.

What is being in the Olympics like?
Amazing! So hard to describe, but my best analogy is that it’s like the Chronicles of Narnia. You live in this fantasy land while it’s happening and it feels like you live a whole lifetime there and then you come home and just dream about going back. Also, representing my country as an Olympian was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.

What do you like most about your sport?
That it’s a sport of honor and thinking with an amazing history that no sport can match. Baseball has Babe Ruth, but we have Zorro!

How do you balance being a teacher with being a fencer?
I use to teach 7th grade Social Studies with the Teach For America program while training for the Athens Olympics. It kept me busy, but being very organized and focus on my goals was key.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Central Park..such an amazing place to walk, run, picnic and hang out with friends!

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Not a big shopper. Sorry. How about gym? Bodhizone!

What is your favorite drink?
I don’t drink too much, but red wine with a good meal is my favorite. Isopure protein shake also is good and healthy!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Mustang Sally

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Winning the Inwood little League world series when I was 12…

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Meet people from all over the world! Manhattan has such amazing diversity in his people! Every day you can meet someone amazing and learn something new.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Sting in Central Park…a long time ago! Shakespeare in the park always rocks!

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated is that NYers are nice! Yes, we are focused on getting from point a to point b as fast as we can, but if tourists need help we’re always there to help! Most overrated is a tough one. Not sure.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I’m a nice guy, work hard and my passion for education is equal to the one I have for my sport!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Shoot me an email: or check out my website:

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