Fencing her way to success

From roots as a fencer to goals as a captain, Victoria Li dominates the piste


Courtesy of Victoria Li

Zoya Haq

En garde with saber in hand, Victoria Li stands strong on the piste, laser-focused on her opponent in front of her. Captain of the fencing team, Li has been a competitive fencer since middle school, dominating both state and national competitions.

“I started fencing in fifth grade, and I didn’t really like it at first; my dad kind of forced me into it,” Li said. “But I slowly began to like it, and then in seventh or eighth grade I started fencing competitively.”

Li said the intellectual side of fencing really drew her in and fostered her love for the sport.

“I really learned that fencing is like a physical game of chess,” Li said. “It’s very mentally grounded.”

Li practices four times a week for two hours a day at her out-of-school fencing club, on top of her practices with Hockaday fencing. Her dedication earned her top ranks at the USA Fencing National Championships and the Junior Olympic Championships.

However, her fencing career, while studded with many successes and triumphs, has not always been an easy one.

“It was a really hard journey with a lot of hardships and stuff like that,” Li said. “I’m really grateful, though.”

Li joined the Hockaday fencing team during her freshman year. She said the team has been a great support system for her throughout her time in high school.

“Hockaday Fencing provides a very healthy community,” Li said. “I know that sometimes, sports are a lot more competitive and there can be toxicity, but for Hockaday fencing, I feel like everyone’s very just there to have a good time.”

Li’s commitment to the team earned her the title of captain this year. She is already working to leave a legacy behind her after she graduates.

“As a captain, I want to push for fencing SPC because it seems like one of the only sports that doesn’t have SPC,” Li said. “I’m working with administration with that, trying to lead by example.”

Overall, Li attributes her successes to her growth mindset that has guided her career.

“If you focus on the results, they actually don’t come to you,“ Li said.“If you focus on your daily work, it flows a lot better.”