Peer Borsky talks about his transition to finance and making tough decisions around sport vs career.
Peer started fencing at age 6. Training 3-4 times a week by the time he was 9. Competed at the Rio Olympics and is now 6 months into his new London hedge fund credit analyst role…loving the challenge.
How did you get started in fencing?
My mom fences as well and when I was little I always wanted to join. So, my parents said you can start when you’re 6. I started right away and very soon I was entering competitions. I was pretty good as a kid already. I won a few competitions and obviously if you win you start to enjoy it more. It became more serious and I started training 3 or 4 times a week when I was 9 years old already. I really liked the whole competition thing and comparing myself to others. The winning is what I think really motivated me to go to training so much and stick with it as I got older.
Tell us about your road to the Rio Olympics in 2016…
When I was 16 I joined the Swiss national team at the junior level and it was amazing to go to the Junior World Cup for the first time. It went quite well: in my last year as a junior, I qualified for the Junior World Championships with the Swiss team where we came in third in the team events. This was a pretty big thing – I think there was only one Swiss team before us a few years ago that got a medal actually. After that, when I was 19, I started full-time at the professional level. I’d done a few professional world cups before – usually the juniors get the opportunities to get used to the level but then when I was 19 I already started doing all the world cups on a senior level and then in the end of 2013 – when I was 23 – I made it into the ‘proper’ first national team and started doing the competitions.
We were awarded the bronze medal in the 2014 World Championship which was the second time we got a team medal in 10 years. We also became European champions for the second time in a row in 2014. I got to join a pretty cool team with a pretty good teacher and we continued to work hard and do well at competitions. We came in third in the European Championships and World Championships in 2015 which was a very big step towards the qualification for the Olympics in Rio because those events give loads of points and then in February 2016 we made sure that we got a spot at the Olympics. So this is how I ended up in Rio.
We unfortunately didn’t get a medal in Rio, which was a big disappointment. Looking back, a year later, I am not entirely happy but I’m also not sad about the sixth place in Rio. I mean that experience was amazing and just the fact that I got to do this is incredible.