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Keeth Smart made history in the sport of fencing by becoming the first American to achieve the top rank internationally. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native was born July 29, 1978.

Smart’s parents convinced he and his sister, Erinn, to take up fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, an organization began by Olympian and the first African-American to win a national gold title in Sabre Fencing, Peter Westbrook.

While attending St. John’s University, Smart was a two-time NCAA Sabre champion, and was a bronze medalist with the U.S. team at the 1999 Pan American Games. As a member of three U.S. Fencing Olympic teams, Smart won a silver medal in the team event during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing; his sister also won silver with the women’s team in the Foil event.

In 2003, Smart achieved his historic global rank and in the following year, he was crowned with the U.S. Fencing championship. Smart is still deeply involved in the sport and is currently a board member alongside his sister with Westbrook’s organization. Smart is also the regional general manager of Chelsea Piers Fitness along with other business ventures.

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