Young Virginia fencing phenom picked to compete for Team USA

WASHINGTON — She’s a fencing phenom and not even out of elementary school yet. A Leesburg, Virginia, girl will compete for Team USA next week.

“I’m a little nervous, but not that much,” says 9-year-old Jasmine Adolphe.

She isn’t talking about the first day of school; she’s talking about flying to Aruba next week to compete for Team USA in the 2014 Youth and Veteran Pan American Fencing Championship.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in for her,” says her father, Eric Adolphe. “We like the fact that she’s very poised and it’s not going to her head … but this is a big deal for us.”

Jasmine was one of six kids in her age group chosen nationwide, he says.

Jasmine started fencing after seeing her older brother Benjamin compete. He is also a talent, placing 29th at nationals. Both practice at Fencing Sports Academy in Fairfax.

Jasmine has a routine during her practice three times a week.

“First, I have to warm up,” she says. “Then I have a private lesson. I do a couple classes, but I also eat a KIND bar.”

Jasmine will be fencing epee at the tournament. She doesn’t know yet with whom she’ll be competing.

“Fencing is a great sport,” her dad says. “Not a lot of people have heard of fencing before. … The sport requires a lot of focus, obviously a lot of athleticism — but also they call fencing chess with swords. So you have to be really, really sharp. No pun intended.”

The mayor and Town Council of Leesburg honored Jasmine Tuesday evening, passing a town resolution regarding her achievement and issuing her a certificate.

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