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30 UNDER 30: Igor Gantsevich, fencing
High School: R.C. Palmer
When injury forced him to the sidelines at the height of his competitive career, Igor Gantsevich never lost his love for fencing.
He simply answered another calling by aggressively promoting both his Dynamo Fencing Club and the sport.
In the past year, Gantsevich figures he’s introduced fencing to nearly 10,000 students through a school-based program he hopes to take province-wide. Without hesitation, he says his goal is to teach fencing to 50,000 kids. Preferably even more.
Using the influence and connections he’s building as a member of the executive committee of the Pan American Fencing Association and the athlete representative on the Canadian Fencing Federation board, Gantsevich is also hoping to cast an even larger international net. Last year his efforts helped to bring the Vancouver Men’s Epee Grand Prix to the Richmond Olympic Oval. Thanks to its success, Dynamo has also been awarded events this year—March 22 and 23—as well as in 2015 and 2016. The 2015 event will be a qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio De Janeiro.
Inspiration? “I have had many inspiring people throughout my life ranging from teachers and coaches to mentors and friends. I look up to many people that make an impact on my life everyday. To single one person out (though) it has to be my father. Everything that I have learned goes back to him. I love what I do, I have a passion for what I do and this would have never been possible without my dad’s influence.”
Most proud of? “Again there are different proud moments that have occurred in my life from a personal level, business level and athletic career. To single one moment out I always go back to 2008 when myself, my father and three others were part of Canada’s first-ever team to medal at an international fencing grand prix.”
Advice for others? “I do a lot of leadership seminars at schools and at local businesses and my main message is to find your passion and to never give up. Every day I enter our fencing gym I do not feel like I am at work. I do what I feel I was born to do. Each and every person is good at something and I urge everyone to follow that something they are good at and most of the time they will be happy.”