Temple Fencing Alumna Trains for Olympics and a Career in Medicine

I started fencing when I was in high school. When I got to Temple, I was really excited
about being part of the team. I was really nervous, because experience-wise,
I had only been competing nationally for about a year, whereas most of my teammates had been
competing nationally and internationally for five, six, seven years, but everyone was really
awesome. They welcomed me, and I actually ended up
being starter after three months. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, so
I went into Temple. I was premed. I was a bio major. Most college athletes, not just fencers, decide,
“Do I want to keep doing my sport, or do I want to, you know, go on with my other career
path?” I never had any international experience,
so I didn’t know how far I was going to be. I didn’t want to prolong med school for that,
so I said, “Hey, why not? Let’s just do both at the same time, see where
it goes.” I also didn’t know how difficult it would
be. So I am between third and fourth year of med
school. My focus is orthopedic surgery, and I have
been doing research for the last two years. Fencing’s a little different, where every
competition is your test, but the answer might not be as clear-cut as like reading a book
or something like that. There’s a lot more creativity, which is not
what we see as medical students, but that’s what we see as doctors, right? So fencing’s really cool in that aspect, where
I have this person in front of me. I have 15 touches to figure out what’s going on and figure out how to make it work really, really quickly. and that’s kind of exactly what medicine is. I have decided to try to make the 2020 Olympic
team. Right now, I’m in the top six in the country,
and the Olympics takes top four, so we have one year to jump from six to fourth and above. A lot of people ask me how I’ve gotten so
far, and I think the only difference between myself and other people is I’m not really
afraid to fail, you know? I don’t think that you can ever fail. Once you actually commit, so many opportunities will open up, and things are going to work out, for you, even if it’s not the goal that
you expected.

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