For a couple hours each day, 6 days a week Charlotte resident Sean Bates is doing what he loves most, fencing.
He discovered the sports as a high schooler growing up in Kansas City.
"We had Junior Olympics, I got third place and I thought maybe I can do this," said Bates
By 21-years old, he qualified for the Pan American Championships. Though he didn't bring home the gold, he was hooked on the sport and the experience.
Unfortunately, he later suffered a knee injury that kept him from competing for 15 years.
"It was a difficult phase, dealing with the injury," said Bates. "It was always in my heart to be involved in it."
So when he was asked to come teach in Charlotte, he jumped at the opportunity. He now teaches and trains at Queen City Fencing in Charlotte.
He eventually started competing nationally again. At age 41, he was selected by the US Fencing Association to represent Team USA in the Pan American Veteran Championships in Puerto Rico in August.
"It's a great feeling to get to compete for your country again," said Bates.