Alex Cai

Alex Cai loves to outwit, outplay and outlast, but he’s not playing the popular reality TV showSurvivor – he’s fencing.
Each time Alex Cai walks onto the piste and stands in the en garde position, he’s competing to become the sole survivor.
The 17-year-old Grade 12 Toronto student won the Vancouver Canada Cup Junior Championship in January 2017, and the Canadian National Championship for Men’s Seniors in April 2017.

At the Copenhagen Satellite World Cup in May 2017, Cai finished 13th in the Senior Men’s foil and in October 2016, he placed 6th at the North American Cup for Cadet Men’s in Detroit.

“I love the independence of the sport and enjoy the sense of competing, but not just the hitting, I like trying to outwit your opponent,” said Cai, who trains for 18 hours a week.

 “Fencing is like physical chess, you need to think a lot in the sport. You can have the best physical traits like speed and strength, but if you don’t use it in the best way, it’s useless because smarter fencers can pick you apart,” Cai explained.

“You can still succeed even if you’re not as physically talented as other fencers. The most important thing is playing smart,” said Cai, who has began taking fencing lessons when he was nine-years-old at the Toronto Fencing Club.

Cai says fencing has helped him to grow as a person and learn to balance school and athletics.

“Fencing has also given me the opportunity to travel the world for competitions and open my eyes to a different life and perspective of the world,” Cai said.

Cai says his coach Peter Ho has been his rock over the last eight years.

“Peter Ho is one of the biggest influences in my life. He’s like a father-figure and he’s given me a lot of nuggets of wisdom and has shaped me into a more mature person. Peter’s enthusiasm for learning is something I strive to emulate,” Cai said.

“The amount of time and effort Peter spends teaching his students is ridiculous. He gives guidance to every single one of his students and treats everyone equally and makes me a better person too,” Cai said.

“Alex is really talented. He’s got a great attitude and work ethic. He’s one of the best students I’ve ever trained,” said Ho, who also works as a seasoned physiotherapist.

Cai also stands out in his academic and extra-curricular endeavours. He has maintained a 93% average each year since Grade 9 at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute’s TOPS program. This is an enriched program for students who excel in maths, sciences and language arts. Cai won the Gold Medal at the Toronto Science Fair in 2015 and he volunteers at two Toronto physiotherapy clinics in his spare time.

Upon graduating from high school, Cai plans to study sciences or kinesiology in university and join the varsity fencing team.

Canadian Pan American cadet men’s foil 2015-2017
Canadian Pan American junior men’s foil 2016-2017
Canadian National cadet team 2016-2017 2017
Vancouver canada cup junior champion
Detroit NAC 6th place october 2016
Canada cup east junior - 1st, senior 3rd
2016 canadian national championships cadet 2nd
September 2015 canada cup vancouver cadet champion
November 2015 gatineau canada cup cadet 2nd place
2017 national championships senior champion junior 3rd