What happens when two friends fence? The competition gets fierce! When Sylvie and Natalie arrived fully suited-up to the Wonderama stage, we learned a lot about the sport from two impressive young women who’ve been fencing since they were only seven years old.

Each round of competition is called a bout, and fencing is carried out in three-minute-long bouts where the first person to get five touches wins. A touch occurs when the blade bends as it hits the wire vest of the opponent. Heads don’t count, and legs are off limits.

As much as a fencing competition may resemble the sword fight from Shakespeare’s Hamlet or a lightsaber fight from Star Wars, the blades are not actual swords– or lightsabers for that matter. They’re called foils, and they’re not as fatal as actual weapons. Even so, the fencers wear masks to protect their faces: an eye for an eye is not a desirable way to fence!

Fencing has allowed Sylvie to meet incredible people from different countries. For example, she competed in the world championships in France. As amazing as that is, more impressive still is Sylvie’s win at the Junior Olympics. That’s right: Sylvie Binder is the junior champion fencer for the United States!