Dallas Sports Festival

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By Greg Mellen

Between bouts, boxers wandered around and watched volleyball players hammering down spikes. Fencers observed a very different form of combat in the boxing ring. Young volleyball players caught glimpses of their Olympic heroes. Until the very last day, when all but a few fencers had left, the second Dallas Sports Festival had met or exceeded every expectation.

But the horrific sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers on July 7 threw a pall over the city and forced the cancellation of the last day of the USA Fencing Nationals on July 8. The event was scheduled at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, which is located in a part of the city where access was restricted as a result of the shooting. The tragedy did not affect the bulk of the festival, a pre-Olympic event that featured national championships in three Olympic sports and an appearance by the U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team in its last domestic warm-up before Rio.

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