Diane Hiatt

Photo by D. Brian Burghart

Reno’s got a potential new world class star athlete in 66-year-old Diane Hiatt. She’s on her way to the Veteran World Fencing Championship from Sept. 27-Oct. 2. She hasn’t been fencing long, just starting three years ago, but she’s come a long way in a short time, placing third in the National Fencing Championship in her category in July when the tournament was held in Reno. For more information about fencing, call the Reno Silver Blades Fencing Club at 337-8449. To help Hiatt in her efforts, call High Desert, or email <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,115,119,111,114,100,103,117,121,52,50,64,104,111,116,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,34,62,115,119,111,114,100,103,117,121,52,50,64,104,111,116,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script>.

Where are you going for the Veteran World Fencing Championship?

I will be in Porec, Croatia.

How did you come to go there? What are your qualifications?

The way you get chosen for World is through national competitions. At the national competitions, you earn points based on how you ranked. When I fenced Nationals, I finished third, and that gave me enough points to qualify for the world championship.

Wow, how many people from Reno have ever done that before?

I don’t know of anyone from Reno who has gone on to Veteran World Championships. The Veteran World Championships is for people 50 years and older. I think I’m probably the first one from that age group from Reno who has gone.

And is it an equal number of women to men?

There are three different weapons, epee, foil and sabre. I fence sabre. There are four women for each weapon and four men for each weapon. There’s also four 50-year-olds, four 60-year-olds, and if there are enough, there are four 70-year-olds.

This is an expensive proposition. How do you pay for this kind of thing?

We have to pay for everything ourselves. U.S. Fencing does not fund any of this. So we’re pretty much on our own.

There’s a question as to whether your coach will be able to go?

U.S. Fencing does not send a coach with the team, so you’re on your own. So if you want your coach to go, your coach would have to be responsible for his or her expenses. So it’s difficult to get a coach to go along because it’s a rather expensive trip.

And who is your coach?

My coach is Eric Momberg from High Desert Fencing Alliance [pictured].

And is he going to go?

At this point, he is not going to go because at this point I have not found a way to raise the money to get him there.

How much money do you need to raise?

We needed about $2,500.

If someone was inclined to help you with this, how do they get in touch with you?

They can get in touch with me through High Desert Fencing Alliance, 815-7999.

When did you start fencing?

I started fencing about three years ago.


Yeah. I retired, I moved to Reno, and I decided to try it just for some exercise. I loved it so much I decided to become a competitive fencer. I started taking lessons. My first experience was at TMCC, where they offered a beginning fencing class. I took a one-semester course, then because I loved it, I joined the fencing club and started taking lessons there. I guess I’ve managed to do OK.

So you’re in the 60s range.

It’s called Vet 60 Sabre. Anybody over 50 is considered a veteran in the fencing world.