Saber fencer Sada Jacobson ’06 was recently nominated for the United States Olympic Committee’s Sportswoman of the Year.
There was only one problem — nobody told her.
“I actually found out about the nomination when I was looking at the USOC web site a few days ago,” Jacobson said. “No one told me about it; I just stumbled over it.”
The annual award recognizes outstanding teams and individual male and female athletes. The USOC Board of Directors and Athletes Advisory Council vote for the award along with members of the national media. Sarah Hughes ’07, Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, won Sportswoman honors in 2003. Jacobson is one of 44 female nominees this year.
Jacobson, who fenced two years for the Bulldogs and won the national championship twice, appreciates the gesture.
“I was really happy to be selected as a nominee for the award,” she said.
Epeeist Katie Burghardt ’05 had nothing but praise for her former team member.
“I’m not surprised [of her nomination],” Burghardt said. “But it’s still a great honor. She’s really deserving of everything she gets.”
Along with fellow American and saberist Keeth Smart, the two-time national champ became the first American to achieve the No. 1 ranking in the world. With six medals on the International Circuit in 2003, Jacobson also became the most decorated American fencer in history. All this, and Jacobson just turned 21 on Valentine’s Day.
Jacobson is currently training in her home state of Georgia for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. With five Olympic-qualifying events already over, Jacobson believes her road to Athens has grown easier.
“I feel that most of the hard work is behind me,” she said. “I’m concentrating on finishing the season strongly so that I am totally prepared for the summer.”
Based on her past results, Jacobson, barring injury, will surely be representing the Stars and Stripes in Athens.
Despite her unmatched success and bright future, Jacobson feels a little nostalgic at times.
“A lot of my friends are graduating this year and it’s strange to think of them not being [on campus] when I come back,” she said. “And as crazy as it sounds, I actually miss taking classes — I am very much looking forward to coming back in the fall.”
Right now, Jacobson is focused on one thing — being the best female fencer in the world. And if she wins Olympic gold this summer, no one will have to notify her about that honor.
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