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First Olympic Fencers Arrive in Village

07/18/2012, 3:48am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The Olympic Village opened to athletes on Monday and members of the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team were among the first athletes to move in as the U.S. Women’s Foil Team arrived on Tuesday and the U.S. Men’s Saber Team settled in on Wednesday.

The squads also are the first two teams to compete when the Games open on July 28. Women’s individual foil competition will take place on the 28th, followed by men’s saber on the 29th.

First-time Olympian Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) said the athletes are settling in and that she has been impressed by the Village.

“The village is really calm so far because we are the first few athletes here, but it's super nice, big and brand new! There are lots of areas for relaxing, hanging out with other athletes and eating, of course. The dining hall is enormous and has lots of different variety. Living apartment style is also cool and good for team bonding!” said Ross who is rooming with replacement athlete Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) and is sharing the apartment with teammates Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

While the U.S. Fencing Team was selected in April at the USA Fencing National Championships, Ross said that arriving in the Village helped solidify the knowledge that she is now an Olympian.

“In Virginia Beach it really hadn't settled in that I'd made the Olympic Team, but being here certainly has made it more real. Everyone who works here or is a volunteer keeps congratulating us and wishing us good luck. That kind of sentiment, along with lots of amazing Team USA stuff from processing is helping it all sink in. Ultimately, I'm keeping in mind that it's about the competition and all the focus should be on that for the moment, Ross said.

After the women’s foil team arrived on Tuesday and went through team processing, the athletes were back to work on Wednesday with their first practice at the ExCel Center.

Wednesday also marked the arrival of the U.S. Men’s Saber Team, including 2008 Olympic silver medalists Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y.) and James Williams (Sacramento, Calif. / New York City) as well as first-time Olympian Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) and replacement athlete Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)

The U.S. Men’s Foil Team left the United States on Wednesday and will arrive in London on Thursday. 

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