Monday, October 1, 2007
Arabella Uhry
The sword stretches longer than her height. But that doesn't stop 11-year-old Arabella Uhry from going after fencing dreams. To her, it doesn't matter how young or big you are. "Fencing is like my favorite subject, math: It's all about strategy."

Arabella doesn't listen to those who say, "That's for boys." She made the boys' soccer team at her school in New York City. She boxes. And, even though she admits she's a "tiny person," she trains and holds her own with the "big guys."

This tiny fencing champ started with the sport in the first grade. Arabella has competed and placed in national and regional competitions like the Empire State Games. Now her careful strategy is focused on getting to the mat at the Olympics 2012 or 2016.

Update: Watch the Live Video interview
How did you get interested in fencing and who are your fencing heroes?
Dear Arabella,

What do you think is the important skill in fencing?
What do you do in your free time? What are your other interests? Do you participate in any volunteer work?
Fencing is not a team sport, so winning or losing is up to he individual fencer. How do you feel when you win at competitions and how do you feel when you lose? Also how would a young person begin to learn fencing?
Are you the little girl who also won The New York Liberty Medal for volunteer work with sick children?
If so, wow! You're an incredibly active and busy young lady. Best of everything to you and hats off for such good work!
Fencing is sometimes called "Chess at 100 mp/h." What thoughts run through your head when in a fencing bout? Also, have you tried fencing with the other two weapons besides "foil" and how did you like it?
Hey Arabella!

You may not remember this but you fenced my daughter when you both were eight years old at the New York Super Regionals. All I recall is that you beat her 5-0 and that you are both left-handed (the great gift for a fencer).

Even back then, you were an an amazing technical fencer. You really seemed to understand the sport so well.

My question is this: is it technical fencing that will propel a young fencer from "good" to someone with outstanding potential?
Good for you Arabella! I'm proud that you don't let your small stature hold you back! Keep up the good work and keep following your dreams!!

I'll be rooting for you!
Hats off to you Arabella! I'm in college and I fence too (foil -- since I was a little older than you are). It's a wonderful sport and I am so glad that CNN is finally doing a story on what is ostensibly the one of the most difficult and complicated sports in the world. Did you know that fencing is one of the Olympic sports! Keep holiding your own with the big guys and guess what, oneday soon you'll beat the tar out of all of them. I should know: I'm 20 years old and five feet tall.
I believe that you are doing a very good job! If you have a goal I say go for it, reach for the stars and do not let the things that are small or too big get in the way of achieving your goals. Keep up the good work and GIRLS ROCK!
I think that its cool to see a girl your age having multiple talents and a attitude thats says, "You can't beat me!". Out of all the sports that you play, what is your most favorite? Keep it up!... Im gonna look out for you in the Olympics!
I think that it is really koo what this girl does its really interesting looking !

i was wondering how at your age and size do you manage to keep up with the big boys and are you afraid when you fence.
You are awsome.
How did you get your courage?
My "tiny" 12-year-old Daughter fences too and loves it. Way to go for Arabella to be smart enough to follow what she loves!!
Fencing really is one of the greatest strategy sports of all time. Keep it up Arabella, there's no question as to whether you'll make it to the Olympics. Show them what you're made of!
rock on girl.
more power to her.
I play tennis and people say its a girls sport but who cares.
As someone who picked up fencing in college, I'm saddened I wasn't introduced to the sport at a younger age.

That said, there's a bit of hyperbole in the opening of this article, unless she really is only 3 feet tall.

Still, keep rockin'. And fence sabre, its much more fun. ;)
My daughter fenced for at least 10 years. She made friends all over the world which she still stays in contact with. She earned a prestigious college appointment and became a better person because of her association with fencing. Last but not least, she enjoyed every minute of it. Fencing is the perfect sport!
My name is Adora Svitak, I also appeared on Young People Who Rock for Writing. I am very impressed by Arabella's fencing talent. I can see even in the photo the her concentration and dedication to the sport. Good luck!
Arabella, you're wonderful.
And I should know: I'm your mom.
The study of sworsmanship is an exercise in character development. This child's dedication, attention to her sport, and physical and mental discipline will carry her far in life.
I've studied kendo for a quarter century, and this prodigy has my utmost respect.
hey arabella, you rock. your ability to go for the goal is awesome. you set your goals high, and reach for the sky. keep it up!
I love seeing my favorite things: a lefty female fencer with a spunky attitude. The sport needs more people like us! :D
Hi Arabella,

This is Cheyenne's dad. I missed your interview but am looking for it on the web. Although Cheyenne never fenced, I bet it was something that she would have loved. Thank you for all that you do, especially for all that you do fo the children suffering childhood cancer. You are a special young lady.

Roy Fiveash

Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.
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