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National Office Blog: Kate Reisinger, Director of Sports Development

04/08/2014, 11:46pm CDT
By Kate Reisinger

April 8, 2014

Kate Reisinger, Director of Sports Performance

If you’re like me, you have been glued to your electronic devices since the Cadet and Junior World Championships started last week. I can’t get enough of the action and I certainly can’t get enough of all of the Americans on the podium! It is truly a proud time to be in the USA Fencing family and our athletes have represented their clubs, schools, coaches, families and our country extremely well. I am blown away at the poise our athletes have displayed under extreme pressure. 

The junior competition started on Sunday and Lee Kiefer started us off in style with a gold medal in the women’s foil event. Hopefully you caught the ESPNU highlight episode on the NCAA championships last week and saw the feature on Lee. How does she do it?  How can this young woman go from being a pre-med student at Notre Dame while traveling the World Cup circuit to taking the NCAA title and winning gold in Plovdiv in a matter of weeks? Oh, and also fitting in two hour naps each day. While Lee makes it look easy, just ask any of our top young fencers and they will tell you that it doesn’t FEEL easy. Our fencers dedicate countless hours each week training and preparing for both international and domestic events. Throw that into the mix with school and a social life (what’s that?) and you have a bunch of very busy young people. 

Of course, this is all in preparation for the big dance that will come along in Rio in 2016, Tokyo in 2020 and who knows where in 2024. Take a look around the Team USA dinner table in Plovdiv and you are looking at the future of Olympic fencing in the USA. This strong, bright group of athletes is the next generation of American fencers who will walk behind (or carry, like Mariel Zagunis) the stars and stripes into an Olympic stadium. 

And let’s not forget about the coaches and families behind our incredible fencers. The fencing moms and dads who have sacrificed so much for their children have been supporting these fencers for years and deserve a standing ovation for their efforts.  Without them, our success would not be possible. And to the group of personal and national coaches across the weapons, thank you for your dedication to the sport and, in particular, for guiding these youngsters towards greatness. 

The events in Plovdiv will continue throughout the week.  So keep your coffee pot going and try not to wake the neighbors with your “USA” chants in the middle of the night. Here’s to more podium moments in Plovidv and here’s to the athletes who make our fencing dreams come true!

Tag(s): News