Wisconsin's Margherita Guzzi Vincenti Olympics bound for Team USA fencing

Posted at 12:33 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 13:33:00-04

Margherita Guzzi Vincenti might be from Italy, but to represent Team USA in the Olympics? That's what it's all about.

"It means a lot," Team USA Fencer Margherita Guzzi Vincenti said. "Every time I wear it? I know it's my duty to train hard and to fence hard for our country. So it's not only representing me outside on the international strip but it's representing all of us."

"They treat her like a queen," Ataba Fencing, Owner and coach Abbas Fadel said. "They love her. I mean, it's just, and it's not fake. It's like, from here, from the heart. You know? This is our community. We need to make it proud. And we work hard for that."

Guzzi Vincenti relocated to Hartland to refine her skills under Abbas Fadel's guidance and to sharpen her craft.

"Well, first of all, I thought that Wisconsin people were super, super nice, right?" Vincenti said. "Midwest culture is very open, very friendly. Very different from the East Coast where everything is kind of like business and go go go. Abbas has a very good 360 view of how to make a fencer really improve his or her skills. So I knew that working with him will allow me to develop my mental game. My physical game. And my technical game."

"Here's the style," Fadel said. "This is what she has. Then all of a sudden, video review. I imitate that person in the lesson. And when she goes competing? She knows exactly what she needs to do."

Now Margherita just has to dispel some of the myths of her sport.

"The blades, are not pointy at all," Guzzi Vincenti says. "When people think of fencing? They think, oh my, you know, somebody is going to get stabbed. But it's really not. The point is flat."

When asked about comparisons to iconic depictions of fencing like Zorro or Princess Bride: "No, not quite. Not quite. We leave that for the movies," Guzzi Vincenti said with a laugh.

Guzzi Vincenti will compete in the Women's Epee individual.

"There are three weapons in fencing," Guzzi Vincenti said."Foil, Epee, and Saber. And I play Epee. So, what it means is that the target in Epee is the entire body. So I can touch you wherever I want, from your head to your toes. And every single point in your body is worth one point. Which sounds pretty easy, right? If I can touch you anywhere."

"We are going for the gold, and we're going to win it," Fadel said.

Beyond fencing, one of Margherita's lesser-known passions is scuba diving.