Soren Thompson

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Soren Thompson
Soren Thompson Trophee Monal 2013 n02.jpg
At Trophée Monal 2013
Personal information
Country represented United States
Born (1981-05-05) May 5, 1981 (age 38)
San Diego, California, U.S.
ResidenceNew York City
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight88 kg (194 lb)
ClubNew York Athletic Club
Head coach(es)Self and Sebastien Dos Santos[1]
FIE rankingcurrent ranking

Soren Hunter Miles Sussman Thompson[2][3] (born May 5, 1981) is an American right-handed two-time Olympian and World Champion épée fencer. He represented the United States in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he reached the quarterfinals and came in 7th, the best US result in the event since 1956 and at the time the second-best result of all-time. He also represented the US in the 2012 Olympics in London. Thompson won a gold medal and world championship in the team épée event at the 2012 World Fencing Championships.

Early and personal life[edit]

Thompson was born in San Diego, California, and attended Torrey Pines High School, graduating in 1999.[4] He then attended Princeton University, majoring in Art and Architecture.[5] While attending Princeton, Thompson took a year off of school to focus on his training prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics.[6] Following the 2004 Olympics, Thompson graduated from Princeton in 2005, and began working.[6] From 2008 – April 2011 he worked for Hycrete, a clean-tech company in Northern New Jersey.[7]

He was a resident of San Diego, and now resides in New York City.[8][9]

Fencing career[edit]

Thompson started fencing when he was 7 years old.[5] He eventually became the highest-ranked junior in the United States.[5]

Thompson currently represents the New York Athletic Club, and trains there and at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. His coaches have included Alison Reid, Lisa Posthumus, Gago Demirchian, Yefim Litvan, Michel Sebastiani, Heizaburo Okawa, and Michael D'Asaro Sr.[5]

NCAA championships[edit]

Thompson attended Princeton University.[1] Fencing at Princeton under Maître Michel Sebastiani,[10] Thompson was the 2001 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Épée Champion, came in 2nd in 2002, and was 3rd in 2005.[11][12][13]

His other NCAA awards include First Team All-American in 2001–02 and 2005, and Honorary All-American in 2003, First Team All-Ivy in 2001–03 and 2005, and Academic All-Ivy in 2005.

In 2005, Princeton awarded Thompson the William Winston Roper Trophy, its highest honor for a male athlete.[14]

Junior and Senior National Championships[edit]

Thompson won the US Junior National Championship and the US Junior Olympics Championship in 1999 in épée.

He won an individual gold medal at the 2011 US National Championships.[15]

World Championships[edit]

Thompson won the team bronze medal in the 1999 Junior World Fencing Championships.[1] The following year, he came in 11th individually at the 2000 Junior World Fencing Championships.[1]

Thompson took 8th in the 2003 World Fencing Championships in Havana, Cuba, defeating top seed Ivan Kovacs of Hungary (15–14).[16][17]

He came in 26th in the 2006 World Fencing Championships in épée, in Turin, Italy.[18] At the 2011 World Fencing Championships, Thompson made it as far as the Round of 16 (where he lost to 2011 world champion Paolo Pizzo of Italy) in Catania, Italy.[19]

At the 2012 World Fencing Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, in April 2012, Thompson won the gold medal for the team épée event, as part of the U.S. Men's Epee Team that won the first Senior World Championship title for American men in history.[18][15][20][21] The US team defeated six-time reigning World Champion France in the finals.[21]



While attending Princeton, Thompson took a year off of school to focus on his training prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics. [6] He qualified for both the individual and team épée competitions in Athens.[6]

Thompson fenced for the US in the 2004 Olympics at 23 years of age, taking 7th place in the individual épée competition, the best US result in the event since 1956 and at the time the second-best of all-time.[4][6][7] He defeated Paris Inostroza of Chile in Round Two, 13-12.[22] In the Round of 16, he defeated Alfredo Rota of Italy, the No. 1 ranked épée fencer in the world and 2000 Olympics team epee gold medal winner, 15–13.[23] He then lost 15–11 to the 2000 Olympic gold medalist Pavel Kolobkov of Russia, who went on to win the 2004 Olympic silver medal.[24] Thompson became the first American to reach the men’s épée quarterfinals in nearly 50 years.[25]

He also took 5th place with the US épée squad in the team competition at the 2004 Olympics.[6]

Thompson sought to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was having the best season of his career. He suffered a serious injury, however, a fully torn off-the-bone right hamstring, before he was able to qualify. He therefore retired – temporarily, it turned out – from competitive fencing.[6][7]


Soren Thompson in 2013

Thompson came out of retirement in 2010, and trained before and after his full-time job.[6] He left his job in April 2011 to focus exclusively on fencing.[7] He decided to not have a coach, as he didn’t find what he wanted in a coach in New York City, and knew what he wanted to do, and felt he just needed to execute."[7]

He qualified and represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympics. He was eliminated in the round of 32 in the individual épée competition by Jörg Fiedler of Germany, the reigning European champion, finishing in 19th place.[6][26] No team men's épée event was held at the 2012 Olympics.[20]

Thompson finished the 2012 season ranked 7th in the world in individual épée.[6]

Pan American Games and Pan American Championships[edit]

Thompson competed on the U.S. men's épée team at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They finished fourth.[5] He subsequently won a team gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.[1]

He won individual and team gold medals at both the 2011 Pan American Fencing Championships in Reno, Nevada, and the 2012 Pan American Fencing Championships in Cancún, Mexico.[15][1] Thompson then won a team silver medal at the 2013 Pan American Championships.[1]

Maccabiah Games[edit]

Thompson, who is Jewish, won a team silver medal at the 2005 17th Maccabiah Games in Israel.[27]

Senior North American Cup[edit]

He is a senior North American Cup (NAC) champion. In 2010, Thompson won a bronze medal at the North American Cup A.[1] In 2012, he won a silver medal at the December North American Cup.[1]

World Cup[edit]

Thompson came in 2nd, winning the silver medal, at the 2004 Buenos Aires Senior Épée World Cup.[28][1] He won a team silver medal at the 2012 Legnano World Cup, and a team bronze medal at the 2012 Tallinn World Cup.[1] The following year he again won a team silver medal at the 2013 Legnano World Cup.[1]

Hall of Fame[edit]

Thompson was elected to be inducted into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame in 2018.[15]

Post-Fencing Professional Career[edit]

Since 2015, Thompson serves as Vice President of Business Development of Daxor Corporation in New York City.


Thompson appears in Impractical Jokers an American hidden camera-practical joke reality series, as a guest star.

Thompson was listed at # 61 in the book 100 of the Best Fencers of All Time (A&V, 2014).[29]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Soren Thompson,"
  2. ^ "Ficha | XVI Juegos Panamericanos: Guadalajara 2011". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  3. ^ State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California.
  4. ^ a b "Soren Thompson Olympic Results". Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Athlete Profile: Soren Thompson". Fencing Archived from the original on June 30, 2006. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Megan Sauer. "Soren Thompson: 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Fencing," State Games of America.
  7. ^ a b c d e "After Hamstring Injury Nearly Ended Fencing Career, PU Alum Thompson Making Return Trip to Olympics," Town Topics, July 18, 2012.
  8. ^ Wayne Coffey (July 26, 2012). "Don't fence us in: New Yorkers dominate Olympic team," New York Daily News.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Instructors," Fencing Instruction.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "2002 NCAA Fencing". SouthWest Fencing. Retrieved January 3, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Fencing Instruction.. at the Wayback Machine (archived October 12, 2013)
  13. ^ Gerry Brown, Michael Morrison (2001). ESPN Sports Almanac 2002: Information Please, Hyperion.
  14. ^ "William Winston Roper Trophy". Princeton Varsity Club. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c d "Fencing: 2018 USA Fencing Hall of Fame Induction Class," Around the Rings, May 24, 2017.
  16. ^ "2003 World Championships Epee: Mr. Thompson Goes to Cuba," Fencing Footage.
  17. ^ "Sports Shorts," Princeton Alumni Weekly, November 5, 2003.
  18. ^ a b "Soren Thompson," USA Fencing.
  19. ^ "Soren Thompson,", FIE.
  20. ^ a b John Otis (May 17, 2012). "For Épée Team, a World Championship but No Olympics," The New York Times.
  21. ^ a b Ivette Morello (May 2, 2012). "Ben Bratton: First African-American to Win Gold in Elite Sport of Fencing" (video)," EURweb.
  22. ^ "Fencing at the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Men's Epee, Individual Round Two,"
  23. ^ David Baumgarten (September 9, 2004). "Tiger in Athens; Thompson '05 knocks off world's top fencer in Athens". Daily Princetonian. Archived from the original on March 9, 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  24. ^ ., US Olympic Committee.[dead link]
  25. ^ Brett Tomlinson (February 9, 2005). "Have sword, will travel; Olympic fencer's skills have global appeal". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  26. ^ R. Stickney (July 31, 2012). "Upsets, Near Miss for Local Olympians," NBC 7 San Diego.
  27. ^ "Maccabiah Games Results for Pacific Coast Section Fencers". Archived from the original on February 22, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
  28. ^ "Soren Thompson". Archived from the original on January 11, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  29. ^ Alex Trost, Vadim Kravetsky (2014). 100 of the Best Fencers of All Time, A&V.