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Maia Chamberlain

Menlo Park, Calif. 

June 5, 1998

Event: Saber
Education: Princeton University
Club: Manhattan Fencing Center
Coaches: Yury Gelman & Alexander Lepeshinski

Senior World Championship Teams: 2023

Origin Story: "I started fencing when I was 9. I played a lot of different sports growing up, and I always enjoyed trying new sports during summer camps. One summer my mom asked if I wanted to try a saber fencing camp, and I said yes because I loved the Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Not only was I the only girl by the end of the camp, I was also doing very well among the boys. The head coach recommended that I keep training, and within less than a year I placed third in Summer Nationals. That was enough for me to take fencing more seriously than other sports, and the rest is history!"

Why I love fencing: "First of all, I appreciate the social aspect of fencing. Since I get to see familiar faces over many years of competing, I have gained and deepened friendships throughout the country and even the world.

Secondly, I enjoy the mental aspect of fencing. Each opponent is like a puzzle to solve, and it is so satisfying to see a strategy work to win a bout. Finally, I love the physical aspect of fencing. Saber requires sharp and explosive movements that I find exciting to perform. For example, counter parries feel just like the Star Wars fight scenes I used to watch!"

Advice: "To those who wish to make a senior team, hard work really pays off. Talent and athleticism can take you far, but getting to the next level requires lots of time and dedication. This not only applies to fencing, but also to any skill you want to master."