New Jersey fencer Anika Tsapatsaris – now on the team at Columbia University – used to travel monthly to Greece as a high school student to train with the national team, having dual citizenship and wanting to take part in the Olympics one day.
It won't happen for the 2021 games in Tokyo – if they are held during the COVID-19 pandemic – but she has her sights sight on 2024 or 2028 for a sport that will allow that despite its physical and mental rigors.
When Columbia announced that classes would be online for this school year, she decided to temporarily move to Greece. She balances virtual classes with training sessions, learning to become creative, reported WAVY.com
“Because gyms have been closed, I transformed one of the apartment bedrooms into a home gym,” she said. “It brings me so much joy just to be able to get out those endorphins every day. It helps me think better.”
“They call it physical chess but it takes a lot of brainpower and brain energy, so it’s not just something where you’re the strongest, fastest, you’ll win,” said Tsapatsaris.