Yale Archives

After 10 years away from the sport, fencer Sada Jacobson Baby ’06 has picked up her saber once again.

During her fencing career, Baby won three Olympic medals and was ranked No. 1 in the country for three years beginning in her junior year at Yale. After the Beijing Olympic games in 2008 — when she won her second and third Olympic medals — she retired from the sport to focus on a career in law. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, she began work as a commercial litigator.

But last summer, Baby returned to the fencing piste, after participating in domestic tournaments and a World Cup — in which she placed in the top 64, losing to the winner of the tournament.

“It’s really great to be back,” she said, speaking about her return to the sport. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I got back. I am really just doing it for fun, but it is great to see the old, familiar faces and come back to the sport on my own terms.”

Baby, who was admitted into the United States fencing Hall of Fame in 2016, is from a fencing family through and through. Her father, David Jacobson ’74 was a member of the 1974 U.S. national fencing team. Her mother, Tina, and her sister, Emily, are also competitive fencers.

Baby explained that she picked up fencing in 1998 in high school when her father — who started fencing competitively for Yale in the first year of still-coaching Henry Harutunian’s tenure — picked up the sport again.

Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Yale Alumni Association, Stephen Blum ’74, a Yale fencer himself, said that Jacobson Baby’s run of maintaining her global first-place status for so long is one of the biggest athletic achievements in Yale history.

“This is perhaps the greatest-ever individual sports achievement — on a global level — by any Yale athlete, male or female,” he told the News.

He also mentioned that he is excited to see athletes like Jacobson Baby and other female athletes like her in the upcoming 50Yale150 celebration of women at Yale next year. 2019 marks the simultaneous commemoration of both the 50th anniversary of the coeducation of Yale College and the 150th anniversary of women first attending the University. The University has been planning a yearlong commemoration of women at Yale.

The current captain of Yale women’s fencing is Sarah Pak ’19.

Skakel McCooey | skakel.mccooey@yale.edu .