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May 17, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State fencers Christian Rivera (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) and Denis Tolkachev (St. Petersburg, Russia) participated in a fencing match at Jones Middle School in Upper Arlington, Ohio, May 7 at the Huntington’s Disease Hoop-a-thon. The event was attended by nearly 200 people and raised approximately $25,000, with all proceeds going to benefit research for Huntington’s Disease.

The Hoop-a-thon is one of four major events held in central Ohio every year to raise money for Huntington’s Disease research. This was the 20th-consecutive year the event was held. Rivera and Tolkachev scrimmaged for about ten minutes, entertaining those who were in attendance. Spectators were also able to speak with the two fencers before and after the demonstration.

Huntington’s Disease is a result of genetically programmed degeneration of neurons in certain areas of the brain. Acquired genetically, those who have Huntington’s Disease can experience uncontrolled movements and emotional disturbances.

“The Huntington’s Disease Society appreciates the support of the OSU fencing team and the support we have received in the past from the OSU men’s basketball team,” Norm Baldwin, event co-chair, said. “Their presence is a big boost to our program and our HD patients are thrilled at the opportunity to meet them.”

Rivera and Tolkachev helped the Ohio State fencing team have another successful season, which ended in a second-place finish at the NCAA championship, falling just two points shy of Notre Dame. Tolkachev took home fourth place in the individual epee competition, while Rivera finished 12th.