DURHAM, N.C. – GoDuke.com recently sat down with men’s fencer Raymond Fan for his senior profile. A senior on the foil squad, Raymond is a biology and literature major from Export, Pa. Fan takes a break from class to talk about how he got into fencing, his love for whiffle ball, his fencing aspirations after college, plus much more.
GoDuke.com: How long have you been fencing, and how did you get into the sport?
Raymond Fan: I've been fencing since the 10th grade, so that’s about six years. I thought fencing looked like a fun sport, so I went to a fencing club (Fencing Institute of America) near my home and took some beginner classes. A few months later, I switched from FIA to Three Rivers Fencing Center in Pittsburgh where I still fence when I'm at home on break.
GD: What is something about you that few people know? Do you have any hidden talents?
RF: I've been told I'm pretty good at making ice bags.
GD: Outside of fencing, what is your favorite sport to watch or play?
RF: Cycling, basketball and whiffle ball.
GD: Do your teammates have a nickname for you?
RF: I get called by my first and last name in combination a lot, like "Hey, Ray Fan". I guess two syllables sounds better than just Ray.
GD: Do you have a favorite way to spend your free time?
RF: I like to try to get off Duke's campus.
GD: If you could travel to any country in the world, where would it be and why?
RF: Costa Rica because it has a great cultural history that not a lot of people know about, and it's ecologically awesome...I'm kind of a nature geek.
GD: What is your favorite part about going to school at Duke?
RF: The combination of great athletic and academic programs.
GD: Looking back on your athletic career at Duke, what is your most memorable moment?
RF: Last year at our home meet, my opponent and I were the last ones fencing for the round – everyone else was done. I remember only hearing our shoes scraping on the fencing strips and what seemed like the entire team cheering when I scored a touch. I think I won that bout 5-4. It was a great way to cap off the season at home.
GD: What are your plans for after graduation?
RF: Junior year I injured my knee, and so for the past couple of years I haven't fenced much or that well. I want to get back into that and hopefully compete at a higher level than before I was hurt. And hopefully I find a good job.
GD: What is your dream job?
RF: To be a successful writer.