U.S. Olympian Tim Morehouse Named Goodwill Ambassador for 2015 Special Olympics

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Fencer Tim Morehouse poses for a portrait during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit at the Palmer House Hilton

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Tim Morehouse is an American fencer who won the silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Sabre Team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. But it is his charity work and philanthropy that make Morehouse a real American hero.

While attending Brandeis University, Morehouse was ranked in the top 10 of the NCAA’s Division I men’s sabre for his final three years at school. He was also an NCAA All-American in each of those three years. Then, after the right-hander from New York City was awarded a Master’s degree in Teaching from Pace University in 2003, Morehouse taught underprivileged students while working with Teach For America. There, Morehouse taught 7th grade at Intermediate School 90 in Washington Heights, Manhattan and coached the fencing team at his alma mater, Riverdale Country School.

Then after training for years and chasing a dream to make it to the Olympics, Morehouse and his team placed second in 2008 at Beijing.

 

(L to R) USA's Jason Rogers, James Williams, Tim Morehouse, and Keeth Smart, celebrate on the podium after the men's team sabre gold medal match

(Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

While fencing is still Morehouse’s passion, charity work and promoting fencing in schools is his new love. The 36-year-old has worked to promote the sport of fencing and has established programs to attract new participants to the sport for years. Spending time as a motivational speaker, Morehouse has spoken to thousands of children and young people in urban schools about his Olympic story. The Olympian has even given presentations to Fortune 500 organizations.

But Morehouse hasn’t stopped there. The philanthropist worked with President Obama at the White House for numerous causes, founded and produced the Fencing Masters Tournament (the largest spectator fencing competition in the U.S.), and he also produces several fencing events and fundraisers, all while supporting various non-profits and being an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play– an organization working to use sport and play to enhance child development in disadvantaged areas.

Yet, Morehouse is most well known for founding in 2011 the Fencing in the Schools foundation, which is a nonprofit program dedicated to bringing the sport of fencing to under-served communities throughout the country. The foundation has helped introduce the sport to 15,000 children in over fifty schools in nine states.

What’s most remarkable is that all of this good fortune and charity work has come from the two-time individual U.S. national fencing champion who first started fencing when he was already in high school.

 

Julien Pillet (R) of France and Tim Morehouse of the United States compete in the men's team sabre fencing gold medal match

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Morehouse has gained so much fame for his charitable causes that, in fact, he has recently been named a Goodwill Ambassador for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles from July 25 – August 2, 2015. After receiving the acknowledgment, Morehouse said, “I am honored to be asked to expand my association with Special Olympics, an organization which does such important work helping to raise awareness to thousands of people with disabilities through sports. I will be working to spread awareness of the Games and the Special Olympics organization through public appearances, fundraising, and encouraging the use of social media to get people involved and supporting the organization.”

The Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. For the 2015 Special Olympics, there will be 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators.

Fortunately, with so many exciting things currently happening in the fencer’s life, LockerRoomVIP was still lucky enough to get an interview with Tim Morehouse.

So, Tim, you have a new commercial that just debuted for Chase Bank that also features Serena Williams and The Rockettes. That is so huge! What was it was like on the set of this commercial?

The commercial was shot in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which is the largest church in New York City. They renovated the church and set up fencing strips inside of the church just for the commercial. I probably did 1,000 full-out lunges. We had a good time. Hopefully, this is just the start of good things to come for fencing and big corporations getting involved in the sport.

Tell us about the 137th Annual Easter Egg Roll that you recently attended at the White House with President Obama.

Well, part of our mission of Fencing in the Schools is to fight child obesity. Out of the 35,000 people who attended, 20,000 were kids and they all came to the White House to be a part of Michelle Obama’s campaign to promote healthy living. We had a good time.

How did you come up with Fencing in the Schools?

I started fencing at my school, Riverdale Country School. It was a sport that changed my life. Following the London 2012 Olympics, a lot of people were calling me asking how they could get fencing in their child’s school. So, I came up with the idea of Fencing in the Schools. Most of my life I have been involved in fencing and education. While I was training for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I was on the staff of Teach for America.

What are your long-term goals for your Fencing in the Schools program?

We want to eventually introduce fencing to hopefully every school in the country. In the next five years, we want to implement 100 after school and varsity programs in various schools and by the year 2023 we want 1 million students to be fencing in schools nationwide.

You were also named a Goodwill Ambassador for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles to be held July 25 – August 2, 2015. Can you tell us a little more about that?

This is a pretty big deal for the Special Olympics to be in the U.S. So, as an Olympian, I would like to give back and raise awareness of the sport (fencing). I am really looking forward to this.

What are you doing these days? Are you still competing in your sport?

I still fence for fun. I play basketball. I do have my eye on the Olympic games in Tokyo (2020). I love the sport, and even if I don’t compete, I’ll always be involved in some capacity.

Check out this commercial for Chase Bank that just recently aired starring Morehouse, Serena Williams and The Rockettes.


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