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This month's cover is a 2 X Team USA Olympian, Dagmara Wozniak who won a Bronze Medal in fencing as a member of the Women's Saber team. With the the Olympics a little less than 2 years away, Athleisure Mag is excited to turn our attention to the upcoming summer Olympic games that will take place in Tokyo 2020. Our shoot took place at the Manhattan Fencing Center where she has trained with her coach since 2005, and we talked about her goals for the upcoming season, what drew her to the sport and the importance of bringing positivity to the game. ATHLEISURE MAG: When we met you at your shoot, you made a great analogy to what fencing is - can you share with our readers? DAGMARA WOZNIAK: I look at fencing as a sport with three different weapons (Epee, Foil and Saber) and you specialize in one because the tactics and training is so different in an of itself. I compare Saber, the one that I do as the Sprinter of the sport. If you look at the sport like Track & Field you have sprinting, hurdles and marathon, it’s completely different. You may have some athletes that do both, but you’re working on specific techniques for the sport itself which is very similar to fencing. People think it’s one sport and that we just change weapons, but it’s like 3 mini sports within the sport. It differs by target area, differs by tactic, and differs by training, so it’s very specific and different then what most people think. AM: What drew you to fencing initially and then the discipline of saber? DW: I actually started off with the original weapon which is Epee when I came first. My dad just took me to a fencing class one day and it was at the Polish Cultural Foundation and I think it was more to keep me busy and to help me practice the language as my coach was Polish. It was an after school program

kind of thing and I did it once or twice a week and I just started falling in love with it. AM: What did you like about it after you started playing in the sport? DW: I liked how different it was. People laugh, but I was definitely a tomboy, still am and beatng up kids and not getting in trouble was great. I did karate before that and I had a lot of fun with that. I had friends who were in it with me and when I had to go up to get a new belt or whatever, they would say, “don’t hit me too hard.” I was very ready to go all out. There is something on the line, “sorry we’re not friends right now.” The whole aspect of combat sport is just very appealing to me and I liked it a lot and it’s challenging. One of the things that I have grown to like about it is that there’s a lot of unpredictable factors. You might know what someone generally does and let’s say they are having a bad day or they’re fencing much better than they have ever done before, you need to be able to adjust to things like that. So the fact that you’re not sure how someone is going to necessarily compete, you can make a plan, but that’s not what’s going on and you need to adjust or you are going to lose. So not to take away from swimming or track and field, but the ground is never going to move from you, the water is never going to dip and become a crazy wave. It’s the fact that it’s really a battle against you and yourself. And fencing and combat sports is a battle against you and yourself and you have the variable of someone else who also has a brain and can adapt to situations and make mistakes as well and capitalize on your mistakes. I like the cliché way of explaining fencing that it’s a physical chess game and it’s spot on. I love that about it. AM: So what was the moment that you went from enjoying this personally to

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Athleisure Mag Aug 2018