COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of California San Diego fencer Ziad Khayat recently received a Spirit of Sport Award from USA Fencing for exemplifying outstanding dedication to the sport and serving as an inspiration to others.
Every quarter, one recipient from each USA Fencing region is recognized based on commitment and dedication to the sport as well as his or her club, respect, teamwork, inclusion, passion, sportsmanship, and character.
A freshman epeeist, Khayat was nominated for the award by his teammates. The following appeared on USA Fencing's website:
Khayat lives and breathes the sport of fencing, his passion and dedication obvious to all around him. Even after practicing six days a week at UC San Diego, Khayat wants to practice more and fences at clubs in the area. When not at the club, he does footwork wherever he is, whether he is on a moving bus to a tournament, in an airport, at the mall or a restaurant, or even in a tree. When he isn’t fencing, he’s talking about the sport and is watching any video he can, to the point that he can recite his favorite touch at the exact time it was scored in the video. Khayat is a fantastic sportsman, not getting angry after losses and looking for ways to improve. He’ll keep his gear on and ask the best fencers to fence to better his skills. And at UC San Diego, he is willing to do whatever it takes to be the best teammate.
“After Emma Zmurk and I qualified for the 2018 NCAA Championships, he studied the fencers we would be fencing on YouTube and tried to mimic them in practice so that we could best prepare. After the bouts, he would offer constructive criticism, but also compliment us for what we were doing well. He's an invaluable asset to our team and there really is no one who deserves this award more than him.” - teammate Emily Beihold
In 2017-18, Khayat placed a team-best 60th of 291 competitors in Division I Epee at the season-opening North American Cup in Anaheim, Calif. He followed with a 12th-place performance at UC San Diego's Bladerunner tournament and finished his season with a seventh-place showing at the NCAA West Regional at Caltech.
All Spirit of Sport Award selections will be honored at the 2018 USA Fencing National Championships in St. Louis.