SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Alexander Massiallas was following a family tradition when he took up foil fencing. His father competed in the Olympics three times, and now the young man has himself been named to the U.S. men’s team for 2012.

Massiallas still hasn’t graduated from high school, but in eleven years the Drew School senior managed to become the most decorated foil fencer in America. He has won nine world championship medals, five of them gold.

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“It’s a lot of time and work, you know. Right now, I really just need to focus on the Olympics,” he said.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

His Olympian father, Greg Massiallas, is also his coach for what promises to be a grueling training season.

There will be no time after graduation on May 31 to think about starting at Stanford University in the fall, and certainly little time for rest before the summer games in London – First come competitions in Cancun, Mexico and in Cuba.

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“And then I have a training camp in Los Angeles. And then it’s only a weeks up until we leave for the games,” Massiallas said.

At 6 feet 5 inches, the 17-year-old recognizes how hard he will have to work competing in individual and team foil events against world fencers in their prime.

“I have to make up for my age with skill,” he said, “and strength.”

The confidence he exudes will probably help too.

“It’s going to be tough this year, but I have a chance to medal, and I’m really going for that gold,” he said.

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