Sabre and a Scalpel! Former Temple fencing star trains for Olympics and becomes a surgeon

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Former Temple University fencer Kamali Thompson is one event away from competing in the Olympics and she's two weeks away from graduating Rutgers Medical school as an orthopedic surgeon.

Sabre fencing is a sport that's also an art form.

"You have to be hyper-focused every single touch," says Thompson. The same could be said of a surgeon's scalpel. Thompson should know, she's a master at both.

"I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I had no idea how fencing was going to pan out, so I didn't want to put off medical school," Thompson said.

Turns out, she's pretty great at both.



"To be an Olympian is one of the highest honors you can have as an athlete and to represent Team USA, one of the best countries in the world, what a feeling," exclaims Thompson.

To get to this point, Thompson says she's become an expert time manager. She trains twice a day while also traveling around the world for competitions, and then getting back in time for exams and rounds.

"I've been in med school for nine years because I took off to get my MBA before the last Olympics in 2016, so it's been such a long time and I'm so excited to actually be done with Medical School and be a doctor," she says.

She's breaking down barriers on her way to doing it all.
"Only 6% of attending are women, 14 % of residents are women, and you talk about minorities and Black women, that it's even smaller than that, so it's really great to be in this field and represent underrepresented minorities," she says.

She's paving the way with both the saber and the stethoscope.

After the Olympics, she'll start her residency at Temple University.

Thompson has also used her following to develop her own business called 'Sabre and a Stethoscope' where she promotes her journey to inspire others. You can read more on www.kamalithompson.com
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