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SF Fencer Out of Olympics, Loses Cool

The former dean of students at Massalias' school, called him very "humble."

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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Not only was San Francisco's Alexander Massialas eliminated from the Olympic men's foil competition, but his fencing defeat to Russia propelled the 18-year-old to throw, well, a bit of a fit.

He hit his hand into his forehead after messing up. And some, like reporter Elliott Almond from the Bay Area News Group,  compared him to tennis star John McEnroe, known for his tennis court tantrums.

Massialas, a senior at Drew School in San Francisco, was knocked out by Alexey Cheremisinov of Russian in the men's individual foil in round 16 on Tuesday. He lost 15-6. 

But some supporters at home were surprised to hear of his behavior.

Steve Chabon, the former dean of student life at San Francisco's Drew School where Massialias attended, hadn't seen the event yet on TV; he planned to watch the duel on DVR later Tuesday night.

Still, Chabon described Massialas as a "very humble and disciplined" student, who earned straight As, and played a variety of sports including basketball.

He said Massialas, whose sister attends Drew and is a fencer and who is the son of a Greg Massialas, the Olympic foil coach, never brought up the topic of fencing himself. And he said the teen never bragged about all his earlier medals, including nine world championship medals, five of the gold.

"He was not the kind of kid to rub it in your face," Chabon said. "He was very polite and respectful. A very humble kid."

To see a slideshow of Alex Massalias, click here.

Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com.
 

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