Hong Kong fencer Nicholas Choi retires: Olympian reveals on social media he is calling it quits at 25
- Foilist posts on Instagram that he’s leaving the sport after winning two silver medals at the Jakarta Asian Games
- Represented Hong Kong at the 2012 London Olympics and was considered one of the most successful local athletes
Top Hong Kong fencer and Jakarta Asian Games silver medallist Nicholas Choi has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of just 25.
Choi made the announcement on social media, saying it was an “absolute honour to have represented Hong Kong in countless competitions” without giving a reason for walking away from the sport.
After taking up fencing when he was just 10 years-old, Choi became one of Hong Kong’s most successful fencers, winning two silver medals at the Jakarta Games in individual and team foil and representing Hong Kong at the highest level for more than seven years.
“With great enthusiasm and gratefulness, I would like to formally announce my retirement as a professional fencing athlete,” he said on his Instagram account.
View this post on Instagram
Hi Everyone! This is Nicholas Edward Choi from the Hong Kong Fencing Team. With great enthusiasm and gratefulness, I would like to formally announce my retirement as a professional fencing athlete. It has been my absolute honor to represent Hong Kong to countless competitions. The past 15 years have been an incredible journey - from my first grip of the sword in my after-school class, to being qualified to represent Hong Kong in the London Olympics 2012 and till now, winning my first ever Silver Medal for both individual and team events in the Asian Games in August this year. No journeys are without hiccups or bumps, but we can only be grateful to all the opportunities presented to us on our way here. Despite countless rumors regarding my retirement date and intention, it was after the World Championship in 2017 when I first had thoughts about retiring from the sport, but I wasn’t ready to give it up just yet. I had my eyes set on the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games Medals. So for the past year, I trained extra hard, knowing that this would be my last battle before I exit the stage of fencing. I must give my heartfelt thanks to my coaches, my teammates, my family, my best friends and all those have shown their support to me on this journey. Without any of you, I would not be able to make it so far. It is now time for me to venture elsewhere and create a new chapter in my life even there is no absolute plan about my future for now. May I thank you all once again for being so supportive and loving to me and I hope you will all come with me as I brave this new page. 我是香港劍擊隊運動員崔浩然. 今天我有一件事要向大家宣布, 我將會退役, 結束運動員生涯了. 從小學參加課外活動, 初拿起劍的一刻開始, 不經不覺間已過15年, 劍擊可算是伴我走過了大半生. 對此,我非常感恩. 劍擊為我帶來不同機會, 讓我可以到不同國家比賽和訓練, 認識到世界各地的劍擊運動員. 我亦因為劍擊, 才能得此榮幸參與各種體壇盛事, 可以代表香港出戰奧運, 亞運以及全運會. 關於退役, 其實早在2017年已經作岀決定, 當時亦已訂立目標, 指望2018年雅加達亞運會. 我知道, 2018年會是我最後一年代表香港出戰比賽, 所以我比以前更加努力, 希望能在最後一個賽季為香港取得最佳成績. 最終能以亞運會銀牌為我的劍擊生涯寫上句號, 我實在是無憾. 我最想感謝一直支持我的家人, 亦感激所有曾經栽培過我的教練, 陪伴我訓練的隊友, 關心我的好朋友, 以及所有支持我的人. 是你們成就了今天的我. 現在, 我認為是時候去編寫人生的新一頁了. 雖然前路尚未有定案, 但我相信, 運動員的生活早已把我鍛練成一個不會輕言放棄的人. 我會繼續努力, 成為更好的自己, 希望一直支持我的人會繼續支持我. 最後, 再次衷心感謝在我劍擊生涯15年以來一直支持和陪伴著我的每一位，盼望日後可以讓大家看見不一樣的我! #nicholasedwardchoi #崔浩然 #저은퇴합니다 #응원해주셔서감사합니다
A post shared by Nicholas Edward Choi 崔浩然 최호연 (@nicholas_edward) on Dec 5, 2018 at 2:00am PST
“The past 15 years have been an incredible journey – from my first grip of the sword in my after-school class, to qualifying for the London Olympics  and to winning my first-ever silver medal for both individual [and] team events at the Asian Games in August,” he wrote.
Choi started competing full-time in 2011 and said in his post that he thought of retiring last year after competing at the world championships in Leipzig, Germany. He also said he had no immediate plans for the future.
“No journey is without hiccups and bumps. Despite countless rumours regarding my retirement date and intention, it was after the world championships in 2017 that I first thought about retiring from the sport, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
“I had my eyes set on the Jakarta Games medals. So for the past year, I trained extra hard, knowing that this would be my last battle before I make my exit from fencing.
“I must give my heartfelt thanks to my coaches, my teammates, my family, my best friends and all those who have shown their support to me on this journey. Without any of you, I would not be able to make it so far,” he said.
Choi won multiple medals on the world stage and alongside Edgar Cheung Ka-long and female epeeist, Vivian Kong Man-wai, was among Hong Kong’s most successful fencers in Jakarta. Choi also represented Hong Kong at the London Olympics in 2012 and was ranked as high as 20 in men’s foil in the world.
Choi also came extremely close to winning an Asian Games individual gold, leading 10-8 against China’s 20-year-old Huang Mengkai with less than a minute to go in the final before his opponent called for time injury. Choi then had a disastrous final minute upon resumption and eventually lost gold. He also was forced to miss the gold medal play-off match in the Jakarta foil team competition because of an ankle injury.
However, the two silvers represented a new high watermark in his career.
“It is now time for me to venture elsewhere and create a new chapter in my life [even though] there is no absolute plan about my future for now.”