Peter Westbrook

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full namePeter Jonathan•Westbrook
Used namePeter•Westbrook
Born16 April 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
Measurements175 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsFencers Club, New York (USA)
NOC United States

Biography

Peter Westbrook is a legend among American sabre fencers. He competed at five Olympics, from 1976-96, missing only the 1980 boycott year, and won an individual sabre bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He also competed at the Pan American Games from 1975-95, winning 11 medals, including three golds, highlighted by the individual sabre golds in 1983 and 1995. He competed at 11 World Championships between 1974-91, with a best individual finish of eighth in 1989. Westbrook won 13 US titles in sabre – 1974-75, 1979-86, 1988-89, and 1995, and was a 7-time champion at the US Olympic Festival.

Westbrook’s influence on the sport, however, went far beyond a list of his medals and titles. He is biracial, the product of an African-American father and Japanese mother who met during the Korean War, and was raised in poverty by his mother after his father left, but persevered in a sport usually associated with privilege. He eventually attended New York University, graduating with a degree in marketing in 1975, and would later flourish in the business world.

Near the end of his fencing career Westbrook established The Peter Westbrook Foundation, an organization devoted to using fencing to help develop life skills in young people from underserved communities, especially among New York City’s lower- and moderate-income youths. It has goals to teach young people good sportsmanship in addition to developing their critical thinking skills, strengthening their self-confidence, encouraging the maintenance of an active and healthy lifestyle and supporting academic achievement. The Peter Westbrook Foundation saw many of its goals reached at the 2000 Olympics when three graduates of the program competed in Sydney – Akhi Spencer-El, Keeth Smart, and his sister Erinn Smart. In 1997 Westbrook published his life’s story, Harnessing Anger: The Way of an American Fencer.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Summer Olympics Fencing USA Peter Westbrook
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) =13
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) United States =7
1984 Summer Olympics Fencing USA Peter Westbrook
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) United States 6
1988 Summer Olympics Fencing USA Peter Westbrook
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) 20
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) United States 7
1992 Summer Olympics Fencing USA Peter Westbrook
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) United States 9
1996 Summer Olympics Fencing USA Peter Westbrook
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) 37
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) United States 9

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1992 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony USA Peter Westbrook

Special Notes