Chris O’Loughlin is accustomed to performing on center stage. Born in Los Angeles, his father was actor Gerald O’Loughlin who starred in the ABC television police drama series The Rookies. His mother, Meryl O’Loughlin, was VP of casting for Columbia Pictures Television. But any thought of show business for O’Loughlin was foiled by his love of swordplay for he discovered his starring role in the competitive sport of fencing.
At the University of Pennsylvania, class of ’89, he won the NCAA Championship in epee his freshman year and became a four time All-American and All-Ivy in Epee, one of the three disciplines in his sport. He won the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Eastern Championship in 1986 and received Penn’s Riley Award as the outstanding freshman athlete. He also captained the Quaker fencing team. While at Penn, O’Loughlin was coached by another Philadelphia Jewish Hall of Fame inductee and long time Quaker coach, David Micahnik.
O’Loughlin won a silver medal at the 1989 Maccabiah Games and a bronze medal with the United States team at the 1991 Pan-American Games. He competed for the U.S. at the ’92 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and was the first alternate in the ’96 Atlanta Olympics. In 2000, O’Loughlin won the U.S. Individual National Championships in epee and won the National Championships in the Team event seven times with the New York Athletic Club (NYAC). He was inducted into the University of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame and served as the NYAC fencing chairman and as the United States Fencing Association Athlete’s Representative. O’Loughlin mentors young national team fencers.
This past October, O’Loughlin travelled to Livorno, Italy, where he helped Team USA capture a gold medal at the Veteran World Championships. Even better, he did it alongside two other former Penn fencers: Daryl Taylor and Walter Dragonetti. “I’ve won a lot of national tournaments and done well internationally, but I never had the good fortune to stand on the podium while they played the national anthem and raised the American flag. I honestly did not think it would affect me. But I was touched. I was really, really touched.”