Olympic Medalist Monica Aksamit Meets with MRHS Students
Monica Aksamit, a saber fencer, wanted to make the Olympic team since she was a little girl. Years of determination, hard work, and sacrifice paid off earlier this year when she earned her spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Saber Team. She went on to win a bronze medal with her teammates in Rio.
On November 23, Ms. Aksamit visited Marlboro High School to speak with students during their health and physical education classes to discuss her experiences training and competing at the Olympics. She began fencing at the age of nine, falling in love with the sport right away, and has trained for the past 17 years. While preparing to compete, Ms. Aksamit said she could spend anywhere between eight and ten hours a day in training.
Her experience in Rio was unforgettable. Words will never do it justice, she told the students. Ms. Aksamit shared a short video with snippets of footage she filmed throughout her time in Rio. In addition to competing, she was able to sightsee and watch a few other Olympic events. She is excited to see a growing interest in fencing, noting that this was the first time all the fencing events were televised. Some Marlboro students had their interest piqued, wanting to learn more about the sport.
When asked about training while she was still in school, Ms. Aksamit said her high school days were full. During the day she was at school, but once the dismissal bell rang she would take a train into Manhattan where she trained into the night before returning home. She encouraged students to believe in themselves even if others might doubt their dreams. It won’t be easy, but you can do it, she told the crowd.
Ms. Aksamit hopes to earn a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
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