Thirteen-year-old Winter Garden resident Maia Slowinski has only been fencing for about five years but her talent has her on the radar as one of the nation’s top fencers in her age division.
Thirteen-year-old Winter Garden resident Maia Slowinski has only been fencing for about five years but her talent has her on the radar as one of the nation’s top fencers in her age division. In January, she finished in the top 32 of nearly 100 international competitors in her age group at Maryland’s Capitol Clash SYC and first at Alabama’s Magic City RYC, among other accomplishments.
When did you decide to start fencing?
I was 8 and in Winter Garden, they had a music and art festival. We were looking at some of the booths and walked by Winter Garden Fencing Academy. I did a lesson, and I just kept doing it and started doing competitions.
What’s the most challenging aspect of fencing?
I’m starting to do a lot more conditioning, but it’s more of a mental sport. Things can get emotional for me another people even, because it’s a mental and physical sport.
What’s your strategy during a battle?
Normally, if I know who I’m going up against, I try to watch them fence and see if I can figure out how to beat them. If I haven’t fenced them before, a lot of times, I have people who I compete in the same age group with, and I ask about their experience fencing the person. Sometimes, my teammates help me out with that.
If you could be any animal what would you be?
A fox, because they seem like they’re really graceful. And I like sly foxes, because I feel like they can get away with stuff!
What hobbies do you have outside of school and fencing?
Homework and playing ukulele. I like to take photographs and solve Rubik’s cubes. My record solving it is 33 seconds. I also like to play video games.
What’s your favorite food?
Takis! They’re spicy, little rolled tortilla chips. I love them, and I hate spicy food, but I’ve grown immune to that kind of spice.