Tunisia - Olympic Qualifier #1

Date - May 10-12, 2019

Location- Tunis, Tunisia

Result - 23rd

The last competition of the 2018 - 2019 season was in Seoul, Korea and the first competition of the Olympic qualifying season was two weeks later in Tunis, Tunisia. I wanted to spend some time in Europe and train with the best of the best. I found a nice little Airbnb right outside the city of Paris and spent a week training with the French team who is currently the number one team in the world.

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Afterwards, I felt extremely prepared for the first competition of the season. After the last Olympic qualifying season (2015-2016), I knew the most important thing to do would be to stay calm at all times. Whether I was doing well or doing poorly I needed to keep a clear head.

My trip to Tunisia was by far one of the best trips ever. Only 2 hours instead of the normal 14 hours. No jetlag, no complaints! We stayed at a resort near the beach. With 85° weather compared to the 60° rainy weather I just came from, I went to relax by the pool for a little bit before preparing for the competition. 

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One of the biggest hurdles of this competition was going to be staying energized and hydrated. The previous year when we fenced in that venue I was extremely hot and exhausted after one pool bout (there are 6)! I drank A TON of water before I warmed up had a great pool finishing 5-1 (5 wins, 1 loss). The goal is to do as well as possible to have a higher seed for the elimination round. The higher your seed after pools, the “easier” your bouts are to make it to Day 2 (which is how you get national and international points). I made it to Day 2 and my first bout was a Belarusian girl I’d never fenced before. While a difficult bout, I won and advanced to the round of 32. In the 32s, I lost to the 2012 Olympic champion. This was a great result for the first competition of the season and I could not be happier.

Next stop: Moscow!!

Me and my teammate, Eliza Stone

Me and my teammate, Eliza Stone

The Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea

Team USA setting up our warm up area

Team USA setting up our warm up area