DURHAM, N.C. -- Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior Kodia Baye-Cigna to learn more about the Brighton, Mass., native.
GoDuke.com: Name your three favorite things about being a student-athlete at Duke.
Kodia Baye-Cigna: My favorite thing is definitely the support that Duke Athletics provides to student-athletes. My next favorite thing would be the community that Duke Athletics provides. It’s really great being on a team and I feel like it’s not just the fencing team but it also extends to the larger athletic community. And the third would be the perks.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite competition-related memory?
KBC: Two years ago we were fencing UNC at the home meet. It was 4-4 with the girl that I was fencing and she was chasing me down the strip, and I took a duck parry five. It’s kind of a difficult move to pull off but it was very exciting because I did. Becca Ward was just ecstatic – I’ve never seen her jump up and down like that before.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite memory away from competition?
KBC: There have been a lot of really great memories I’ve had with the team, just getting to know them, especially freshman year and sophomore year, being welcomed in. Pretty much anything involving [head coach] Alex Beguinet and [recruiting coordinator] Elizabeth Beguinet – they’re the most fantastic coaches ever. And of course anything involving Becca [Ward].
GoDuke.com: What are three things that motivate you to perform?
KBC: My teammates are definitely number one. It’s different than high school fencing because in college your overall results as a team matter more versus when you compete nationally and travel by yourself. In the U.S. Fencing competitions it’s always just you – you’re the only one that matters. But coming here definitely changed a lot of things for me. Another thing that motivates me are the coaches. I love Alex and Elizabeth and I would absolutely do anything for them. They’ve always been so supportive. And then of course winning.
GoDuke.com: Name three foods you can’t live without.
KBC: Pasta, quesadillas from Anna’s Taqueria in Boston and Tabasco hot sauce.
GoDuke.com: Describe head coach Alex Beguinet in three words.
KBC: Precise, French and caring.
GoDuke.com: What are your three favorite things about the sport of fencing?
KBC: I really like the fact that you’re responsible for your own results. The hard work you put in will most often show in results. I also like the competition aspect of only competing against one other person, figuring them out and knowing how to correctly respond to what they’re doing, or how to push them into doing something that you want them to do so that you can correctly respond and get the points. And I’d also say the traveling.
GoDuke.com: What are three things you would do on a day off with no class or practice?
KBC: Sleep, catch up on movies or TV shows that I follow and eat.