Almost Olympic (Fencing)

Lily Leung

Northwestern assistant fencing coach Tim Glass began his Olympic journey in 1977, frying chicken at Popeyes in Houston.

Six months later he loaded bags for Delta Airlines, after which the Notre Dame graduate worked as a clerk at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston.

From fried chicken to crunching numbers at Houston’s largest hotel in the late ’70s, Glass juggled menial jobs in the Lone Star state for one reason: the opportunity to train with Frenchman Michel Sebastiani in hopes of making the 1980 U.S. Olympic team.

“I’ve always wanted to compete in the Olympics and be a part of the opening ceremonies,” said the 48-year-old Glass. “By 1977, my dad said, ‘You oughta go.'”

After a year-and-a-half of training with Sebastiani, a 1960 Olympian, Glass won the 1979 U.S. National Fencing title, the first major step toward his Olympic dream. In April 1980, Glass made the U.S. Olympic squad as an