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Westchester Fencer Heads To World Championships

Champion fencer Sylvie Binder presenting a check to the United Nations Human Rights Office.
Champion fencer Sylvie Binder presenting a check to the United Nations Human Rights Office. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

ARMONK, N.Y. -- Armonk fencer Sylvie Binder is getting ready to represent her country at the 2016 World Championships in France.

Binder, 16, is raising money for the trip via a MyRally campaign. Ten percent of the funds will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Office.

The Armonk teen is part of the United States' national team for people under 19 and under 17 and competes against fencers all over the world. Getting to see the world is one of Binder's biggest thrills.

"I get to experience so many different cultures," Binder said. "I get to interact with different people and I'd never get that from anywhere else."

Binder started fencing when she was seven and her family was looking to find her a sport. On a family camping trip, a friend mentioned she should try fencing because she was so well coordinated and she went to the Fencing Academy in Hawthorne and quickly took to it.

Balancing school and fencing can be a challenge for the high school junior, but she says she has it under control..

"My teachers are all so great, they are all so great," Binder said. "I'm often on planes doing my math homework. But I get it done."

Binder is looking at colleges where she can fence, with a lot of colleges offering opportunities on the East Coast. Going to Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Games is also not far from Binder's mind.

"I'll see where fencing takes me," Binder said. "Each season I've progressed in different ways. I just want to keep improving. I don't plan on stopping. Who knows how far I'll go."

Binder said fencing is a great sport to give both your mind and body a good workout.

"It's a good sport to try even if you're a beginner," Binder said. "You learn about coordination and your mind is trying to catch up to what your body is doing. I am grateful for all fencing has given me. It's opened so many doors for me and I've met so many great people."

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