The future of fencing

August 18, 2008 5:31:51 PM PDT
Once again this year, the Houston area well represented in the Olympics. Francesca Bassa is a future Olympian in the making. Francesca the #1 college fencing recruit in the nation and against Francesca, you better keep your guard up. Once again this year, the Houston area well represented in the Olympics. Francesca Bassa is a future Olympian in the making. Francesca the #1 college fencing recruit in the nation and against Francesca, you better keep your guard up.

The St. Agnes student is not your usual high school senior. First of all, she has six names.

" Francesca Alexandria Maria Antonette Louhamenia Bassa," she told us.

You could say Franchesa was born to fence. She took up the sport when she was just 8 years old. It was either archery or fencing. Fencing was closer to home.

"I remember my first class. I remember really liking it, but not being in love with it," she said. "My dad said, 'Do you want to come back?' I was like, ok."

"A couple of years later when I started competition, I really fell in love with it."

Francesca won her first fencing competition at 11. She competes in what's called Epee.

"Epee is the traditional dueling weapon and this is the weapon, when watch the Three Musketeers, that's what they're using," she said.

Francesca is a national champ many times over. She's won two junior Olympics championships and recently competed at the world championships in Italy as part of the U.S. national team. Francesca finished 14th.

"In beginning, didn't show any results," said Andrey Geval with the Alliance Fencing Academy, where Francesca trains. "Then it was like a volcano. Every tournament, a gold medal, at least a silver."

"I definitely want to try the next Olympics. I was watching the opening ceremonies with my mom and I said, 'I have to do that next'," said Franchesa.

Francesca Bassa ? the new face of fencing.

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