This 16-year-old Peachtree City resident had to take an extended spring break this year. But she didn’t spend it relaxing on the beach. Nope, Edith was in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, competing at the World Cadet Fencing Championships. Edith, a saber fencer, has already visited five countries to represent the United States at World Cup events. She’s competed against the best of the best in fencing, from nations all over the world. Her scores at those events earned her the spot on the United States World Cadet Fencing Team, which took her to this year’s World Championships in April. She’s also a two-time USA Junior Olympic Cadet Champion. She took the gold medal in 2016 and successfully defended her title this February, winning gold once more.
Edith began fencing at age nine, and has loved it ever since. She credits two people with helping develop her passion: her older sister, who fences for Columbia and aspires to the 2020 Olympic team, and her coach, Terrence Lasker of Nellya Fencers in Atlanta.
“Fencing is always interesting because it requires a lot of thinking, a lot of strategy,” she says. “It’s kind of like chess in that way. I’ve learned so much about myself through my training and through various competitions. It’s something I see myself doing for the rest of my life.”
Like any serious athlete, Edith is extremely committed, which is a must for those who want to achieve world-class status. She fences for four hours each day, plus takes private lessons several times each week. And, since fencing is a year-round sport, she doesn’t have an “off” season. Since it’s so difficult to balance her competition travel schedule with traditional classroom learning, Edith attends the K-12 online academy, which works well for her because it gives her much more flexibility in terms of scheduling. She’s right on track for her age group – even a bit ahead in some areas – and looks forward to wrapping up her high school career.
While fencing and school take up most of her time, Edith also loves art and loves to sing. She’s a member of the Spivey Hall Tour Choir and has been able to travel with the group every summer so far. Last year, she sang with the choir at Carnegie Hall. This year, they are headed to San Diego, and Edith is already looking forward to next summer’s trip to Italy.
“I’d love to go to the Olympics,” she says. “That’s absolutely the dream, the thing I’m working for. But I do want to do other things as well. I’d like to be a working artist, and I’m also interested in law. I’ve been investigating colleges, because I really want one that fits all my interests. Thank means having a strong art department, a strong law program, and a really amazing fencing program that can help me keep getting better. I’m excited about the possibilities!”