For the past 14 years, 23-year-old Brooklynite and Olympian fencer Nzingha Prescod has been breaking down race and class barriers while claiming her spot on the throne as one of the elite in the art and sport of fencing. Nzingha is a Columbia graduate now prepping for her second Olympics in Rio next year and was recently featured in Glamour’s Top 10 College Women and in both Nylon and Ebony magazines. Saint Heron interviewed the star fencer to find out more about her life both on and off the piste.
On how she started fencing:
My mom really wanted to keep my sister and I busy, especially growing up in Brooklyn. She heard about Peter Westbroook grooming these black Olympic fencers at the Peter Westbrook Foundation and thought why not. Peter and the foundation are such a blessing. Not only did fencing teach us valuable skills, but it also presented us with so many opportunities. From traveling the world, to graduating from Columbia. Not to mention the community and camaraderie we needed while growing up.
On whether or not she envisions her self becoming a pop culture icon:
I would love to be the person that younger Black girls want to emulate. I want the image that I put out to be an inspiring one; one that pushes these girls to try new things, be courageous, and to fully believe in themselves.
Read the rest of the interview here.