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Insights into the world of fencing and thoughts on life

  • Writer's pictureKate

Episode 25: Stacey Johnson

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Back in September of 2018, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Stacey Johnson. Then life got in the way (mostly moving to our new club space) and I haven’t had a chance to edit it until now. I had forgotten just how much insight Ms. Johnson shared, not just about fencing but about perseverance and teamwork, skills that she used to great effect in both her professional and athletic endeavors.

Ms. Johnson started her athletic career on the back of a horse, then got involved in fencing at the age of 13 when the Pentathletes at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio asked her to attend a tournament and help keep time and score. For three solid months she was terrible at fencing until the fateful day her coach exasperatedly switched the foil to her left hand….less than four years later she made the Junior World Team. You’ll hear her talk about what it was like to be on the Olympic Team the year President Carter boycotted the Games.

She was very successful in her own fencing career but then used it as a springboard to promote Women’s Sabre and equal access for women and minorities. She became the first woman to complete a four-year term as President of US Fencing and was one of the first women on the Fencing Officials Commission. She’ll also talk about her role in getting Women’s Sabre into the Olympics, the initial fallout from it, and the eventual success of ALL weapons that stemmed from those medals earned in Athens.

This is a very interesting interview with a very interesting woman: fencer, Valencia College President, San Jose State alum, Olympian, teammate, and advocate. Enjoy!

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