Tierna fencing

Central Ohio fencing prodigy Tierna Oxenreider again will battle at the Arnold

The last time the Freep wrote about Reynoldsburg’s Tierna Oxenreider, in 2017, the then 12-year-old was being hailed as one of the world’s best fencers in her age group. That summer she won the US Junior Championship for those under 12. The following year she placed 3rd at the US Junior Olympics for all age groups (under 20).

The fencing prodigy, who at the age of four insisted to her parents “I want to do a sword sport,” could see gold in her future. How can you doubt her Olympic dreams when an epiphany to pick up a weapon so to compete strikes you before kindergarten?

But no one said life was fair, and there’s never a clear and easy path to the top of the medal stand. Last year she injured her back while competing in Germany. Then the injury was aggravated when she was a passenger in a car rear-ended by a texting driver.

She didn’t compete for ten months, so for much of last year, she was out of the scene. But she’s picked herself up off the mat and risen up to a new challenge. Since November she’s worked her way back to where she’s traveling again with the US junior international team. Her comeback continues at this year’s Arnold where she has won 17 gold medals.

“I take last year as a chance to grow,” says the 15-year-old Oxenreider. “Since the injury I have learned a lot from it and my fencing has actually improved because of it. After the injury I decided to become a referee to still be included in fencing and that opened my eyes to a lot of different things in fencing I hadn’t realized before. I don’t take my injury as a loss. I take it as a chance to grow.”

You can catch Tierna Oxenreider in action at the Arnold Fencing Classic starting Friday, March 6th at 8 am. All fencing events are held at the Hyatt Regency attached to the Convention Center in either the Franklin, Union, Delaware or Taft meeting rooms.

“I have been going to the Arnold for such a long period of time that it’s always held a special place in my heart,” says Oxenreider.

Other top Freep picks for the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival:

  • What Freep readers don’t like a good Medieval battle to decide the fate of the kingdom? And who knows, Conan the Barbarian could make a guest appearance! The Arnold Medieval Fighting Invitational makes its debut at the Arnold in 2020. This is an international event with teams competing from the USA and Canada. Armored combatants compete in a 5 on 5 Buhurt (tournament) using 14th-16th century armor and weapons. The format is best of three timed rounds that are four or five minutes each or until all five opponents are down. The event will be held Friday, March 6 from 2-5:30 p.m. on the floor at the Arnold Fitness EXPO at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
  • The Arnold is increasingly becoming something the entire family can enjoy so pack up the kids to check out the Arnold Dart N Dodge event where the kids can be a part of the action. Dart N Dodge is a growing sport utilizing Nerf Blasters in what is called a battle zone complete with inflatable obstacles. Open play is Saturday March 7 (9am to 6pm), all equipment will be provided. Sunday March 8 (10 am to 5pm) is the main event, a 3 on 3 Death Match Tournament (you must pre-register online and no kiddies). Both events are at the Bricker Building at the Ohio Expo Center.
  • Watching Ninja Warrior on TV is a thrill unto itself, but what if you could try the course yourself? No surprise is how the Arnold can give you the chance and there are no age restrictions. There will be two courses, a “fun run” course and a competition course both at the Columbus Convention Center Hall C.The competition course is open to one and all, and while pre-registration is closed you can walk right up and give the course a shot. Competition waves start Friday, March 6 (9:30 am to 5:30 pm) and continues Saturday, March 7 (9:30 am to 3 pm). Those who finish the course and have a time in the top 8 for both men and women will move onto the finals Saturday at 3:30 pm. Besides a nice cash price both top male and female finishers will have lunch with Arnold himself on Sunday.