Freshman Fencing Phenom Lucy Bybee Heads to 2020 Junior Olympics

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Freshman Fencing Phenom Lucy Bybee Heads to 2020 Junior Olympics

Going for the Gold: Freshman Lucy Bybee works on sharpening her fencing skills for the upcoming Junior Olympics.

Going for the Gold: Freshman Lucy Bybee works on sharpening her fencing skills for the upcoming Junior Olympics.

Sophie Peck

Going for the Gold: Freshman Lucy Bybee works on sharpening her fencing skills for the upcoming Junior Olympics.

Sophie Peck

Sophie Peck

Going for the Gold: Freshman Lucy Bybee works on sharpening her fencing skills for the upcoming Junior Olympics.

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 Grab your swords and don your epee masks, because there is a new fencing champ in town. Freshman Lucy Bybee, a skilled fencer, has qualified to represent Georgia at the 2020 Junior Olympics in Columbus, Ohio, for the junior-cadet epee events.

Fencing, a combat sport that resembles modern-day jousting — minus the horses —  requires great coordination and skill, things that Bybee has acquired very quickly in her three years of the sport. What started as a simple interest soon became a passion for the fast-paced duels and fierce fights that encapsulate fencing. “I started because I thought it looked cool,” she said. “I went on a Saturday and then just kept going.”

While fencing may look like a simple game of stabbing your opponent with sticks, fencing employs both strenuous physical and mental skills. Fencers must make swift, on-the-spot decisions during duels to best their opponent. This aspect of the sport is most appealing to Bybee. “I got hooked on the sport because it combines your mind and your physical ability,” she said. “Some even compare it to chess with swords!”

Bybee’s impressive skill in the sport landed her a spot in the Junior Olympics, where she will represent Georgia in the epee fencing events. Epee fencing is one of three kinds of fencing, and unique in the sense that no place on the body is off-limits for targeting. To prepare for this huge endeavor, Bybee is sticking to her normal routine — practicing two to three times at her club, Elite Fencing Club, and competing in smaller tournaments. 

It is clear that Bybee’s hard work has paid off, and that she has never been caught when she’s not en-garde. She sees this opportunity to compete with other skilled members of the small fencing community all the while getting to explore a new city. Not competing in the Junior Olympics for her would be, well, pointless. Pun intended.