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Teen Challenges Rahm To A Swordfight In Viral Facebook Event

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 31, 2016 6:46PM

Duncan Ritchie, 18 (left), and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (photos courtesy of Duncan Ritchie and by Scott Olson/Getty Images, respectively)

Earlier this month, Duncan Ritchie, an 18-year-old high school senior at Wells Community Academy, created a Facebook event called "I Challenge Rahm Emanuel To A Sword Fight." Ritchie expected it to be "a small chuckle with some friends," he told Chicagoist—but as of now, more than 2,000 Facebook users are either "attending" or "interested."

Ritchie lives in West Town, but "should the Mayor choose to accept," the proposed sword fight will take place on 6 p.m. May 31 at The Bean in Millennium Park. "It's got that flat open concrete area," Ritchie said, explaining his duel site choice. "There's not a whole lot of obstacles. ... It's also kind of a monument, so... it'd be very dramatic."

Ritchie said he'll go to the Bean that day either way, though. Even if the mayor doesn't show, "all these people are still excited to go there," Ritchie said. "If anything, if he declines, we'll still show up and... have kind of a celebration."

Ritchie doesn't have "serious" training in sword fighting, though he noted, "I can't imagine Rahm does either." Ritchie has some cyber-practice with swords, too. He plays Wii Sports Resort, where in one game mode, he said, "you stand on this big circle thing and you use the controller as a sword, and you whack the other [player]." Emanuel probably doesn't play this game, Ritchie added. "He probably doesn't have time."

Ritchie thinks he could take the mayor for reasons beyond his Wii training. "I'm decently athletic," he said. "I spend a lot of time skateboarding, so I'm pretty fast on my feet." (Editor's note: The mayor is decently athletic too—he was once a pretty serious ballet dancer.)

Ritchie doesn't own a sword, he said, but "at least 10 people" have reached out to him through the Facebook event to "offer to provide swords for me... but I haven't decided on any specific swords yet, because I have to let him decide some of the conditions... otherwise I don't think he'll accept."

For the same reason—that he and the mayor would need to set the duel terms together—Ritchie doesn't yet know how far the fight would go. He said if the Mayor wanted to fight to the death, "I'm down," but "to the scratch, or whatever" would be fine with him too.

When asked if he thought the mayor would fight fair in their hypothetical duel, Ritchie said, "I mean, maybe not in private, but I think with all the people watching, I don't think he could get away with something like that."

We reached out to the Mayor's Office for comment, and will dutifully update this post if we hear back.

[h/t RedEye]