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Athlete of the Week Interview: Briana Parris

BRSN: What was your mindset going into this weekend’s meet at Northwestern?

BP: My mindset going into the meet at Northwestern this past weekend was high energy and spirited. I’ve traveled to a lot of places to fence but never to Chicago. I think that was a fun factor that allowed me to feel loose and relaxed. 

BRSN: How did you first get started with fencing, and what kept you in the sport?

BP: I was introduced to fencing through my younger sister.She fenced and I would have to travel to her practices with her and my parents. While waiting I was offered an opportunity to suit up and try it. Initially, I flatly rejected the offer because I played basketball at the time and didn’t have any desire to switch sports. Eventually, I did try it out of sheer boredom and was hooked. I think fencing appealed to me because it’s an individual sport that forced you to really think about your movements and target. It combined raw athleticism with thoughtfulness.

BRSN: Why did you choose Cornell?

BP: I chose Cornell because I wanted a big campus with lots of green space. It offered the major I was looking for, Global & Public Health and allowed me the opportunity to fence in a Division 1 program.

BRSN: What is your greatest fencing memory?

BP: My greatest fencing memory was winning gold at the Junior Olympics with my club’s foil in Memphis.

BRSN: How do you like to prepare for tournaments?

BP: I like to prepare for tournaments by listening to music or playing games on my phone.

BRSN: You had a huge comeback on the second day of the meet- what advice would you give other athletes about not giving up, even in the face of a setback? 

BP: My advice to other athletes that have a rough start or set back is to mentally hit the reset button in your head. You have to forgive yourself for coming up short and then treat the next day or next bout as a clean slate with the opportunity to redeem yourself.

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