Eliza showed up to her first fencing class in a dress and little patent leather shoes because she wanted to make a good first impression. In tow, came siblings Robert Junior and Gracie. Flash forward to today, she's currently ranked as the #6 fencer in the world.
In this episode, US sabre fencer, Eliza Stone, discusses how a small pizza shop changed the trajectory of her family’s life, and how her siblings fueled her to become one of the world's best fencers. Eliza also discusses why it’s so important for her to view fencing as something to be celebrated regardless of the outcomes and share what it’s like when things don’t go to plan.
Experts interviewed include Grace Stone (sister), Robert Stone (Father), and Dr. Robin Taylor (Senior Lecturer, Coaching and Performance, University of Central Lancashire)
Audio from: Budapest Worlds SWS 2019 - L16 - Stone USA v Zagunis USA (Commentary) YouTube Video and Cincinnati SWS 2018 - L8 - Eliza Stone v Tori Johnson YouTube Video
Episode Title: Eliza Stone (USA): the Stone Sabre Squad & Redefining Success
Listen in and learn how a local pizza shop changed the trajectory of Eliza Stone’s life and how her family fueled her to become one of the top fencers in the world. In this episode, Eliza discuss why it’s important to view fencing as something to be celebrated regardless of the outcome, and what it’s like when things don't go according to plan.
Learn what sabre fencing is and what it involves. As a “right of way” sport, Eliza shares how you have to fight to be the one in control of the priority of action. With an entire family that played for Princeton, host, Jamie invites on some of Eliza’s family members to share their perspectives too. Eliza shares how her siblings have pushed her to where she is today, and how sibling rivalry was key to her becoming a world class athlete.
Eliza’s father shares about how the pizza parlor played into the story. Hear from Dr. Robin Taylor in the UK regarding the important role siblings play in athletic talent development: siblings can help develop physical, psychological, and social aspects all in one environment. Mr. Stone recognized this sibling rivalry and worked to foster and utilize it in his own children.
What does it feel like to win so many medals? Learn that it is not just about the medal for Eliza, but about the entire journey and pressing on to keep going regardless. There is a constant challenge to fight against validating, or devaluing, all the years of work based on the outcome of a split second decision that results in a win or loss. Mr. Stone shares about the true value of fencing being real world experience that develops both discipline and character that one can continually learn from. Finally, hear about Eliza’s perspective on gender in the fencing world. While it is not a decisive factor, learning to scream and fight was new for Eliza.
Consider the challenges of family planning in the midst of competing, and the reality that ages for physical and mental maturity peaking is between 26 and 32 years old. Elite athletes really have to put their work in, even if they don’t feel like an elite athlete at times. Are Olympians overlooked during the off-season? How can listeners adjust their views? Eliza leaves the listeners with the charge to change their perspective of Olympians, and she helps explain how you can get there too. While COVID certainly made an impact, we must press on and move forward! Don’t forget to share and subscribe!