Sada Jacobson is an Olympic saber fencer from Dunwoody. In 2004, she won a bronze medal in the Summer Olympics and hopes to win gold this year. She and her sister Emily, also a champion fencer, are members of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Its very difficult to be a professional fencer in the U.S. Most of the pros are from Europe. Its a more popular sport there.
I started fencing when I was 15. 15 is old to start fencing. At our club [in Midtown] we start them when theyre big enough to hold the mask.
Originally, fencing was training for sword fighting. The target area is from the waist up. It comes from cavalry. [In cavalry sword fights] you had to attack your opponent without wounding the horse.
Fencing is safe. The sabers arent sharp. Punctures are rare. The most common injuries are the repetitive stress injuries you get in all sports.
Ive never been in an actual physical confrontation. I dont think I would fare well.
Youre trying to symbolically kill the person in front of you. You have to be very centered and calm, but also aggressive. Thats hard to achieve.
On Tetanus shots: I actually need to get one.
The most common response when she tells people shes a fencer: 1. They do air-poking at me. 100% of the time they do that. 2. They say Whoa, I wouldnt want to mess with her. Shes dangerous. Ive heard it a million times."
"Its a real sport. Its not a desire to live out a fantasy."
"I like to make drinks with the little swords in them. I've made kabobs once. "
(Photo by Joeff Davis)
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