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BRSN Athlete of the Week Q & A: Fencing Junior Victoria Wines

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with BRSN! It sounds like you had a fantastic weekend. The Big Red fencing team earned three medals at the Temple Open where you repeated as the gold medal winner in women’s epee. How do you feel?

I’m really happy with the way the season is starting off for us. After finishing third at the 2015 NCAA championships I am excited to try to do better this year and this tournament was a good starting point.

College fencing is both a team and individual sport. Can you describe that dynamic? College fencing is really just individuals fencing individually and then combining the wins at the end of a match. The fencing itself is not “team” at all. The training though is team oriented because we need each other to become better fencers as well as support our teammates’ individual victories.

When did you first start fencing? I used to do karate and after I earned my black belt at the age of 12, I decided I needed a change. My older cousin had suggested that I should try fencing after she saw me sword fighting my younger cousin with sticks in the backyard of a family party. I am now completing my ninth year fencing.

Can you walk us through a typical training session? Fencing is so unique because of the individual aspects of it. Every fencer has his/her own special moves, injuries, training regimens, and even pre-bout rituals. There is so much flexibility within the sport because it allows for individuals to understand him/herself and learn what he/she needs in order to win.

Who has had the biggest influence on your fencing career? My mom and dad have been my biggest fans throughout my fencing career. If I did not have their unconditional love and support I would not have been given so many great opportunities. My parents gave me the opportunity to compete in the European Circuit in 2011-2012 where I won a world cup in Austria and ultimately earned a spot on the 2012 national team. Even today my parents are always on the sidelines of my fencing matches. What are the traits, physically and mentally, that a successful fencer needs to have? Fencing is basically “chess with swords”. In order to be a great fencer one has to be able to see an opponents mistakes and capitalize on them in a timely manner. One also has to be able to think not just one but three steps ahead in the match. Fencing is a fast moving sport and mentally challenging therefore it is the fencers that can stay calm and confident that become great.

If you didn’t fence, what sport would you play? Being at Cornell has been a huge influence on my fencing career because it has amplified my love for the sport and for that I am very grateful. I have committed a great deal of my life to fencing and I do not see an end in sight.

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