Twenty-one-year-old Amanda Sirico says she feels most "at home," when she is dressed in full fencing garb, and has an épée, one of the competing weapons, in hand. The student at Notre Dame, has been fencing her whole life, and had the skill engrained in her during her childhood in Bowie.
Now all that training has put her on track to compete in the 2020 Olympics, so long as she can keep it up.
"It seems like a far away goal when you're younger," she said. "When you're like 'I'm going to the Olympics.' But when it's actually close, and it could be a tangible thing.... You get this warm feeling in your heart. You kinda well up a bit."
Sirico met up with WUSA9 at the DC Fencers Club in Silver Spring, where she does her training during school breaks. Currently Sirico is rated fourth in the country, which would qualify her for the 2020 Summer Olympics. During the 2016 Olympics in Rio, she just missed it, ranked sixth in the country.
"There's so much more I can do to move higher," she said. "And I'm definitely not comfortable or satisfied with fourth right now. I want to be so much higher."
When you look at Sirico's family tree, it becomes obvious that Fencing is in her DNA. Her parents were both active fencers, and her sisters continue to practice alongside her. Cindy Sirico, her mom, said it's emotional watching her daughter succeed.
"You can't help but get sentimental," she said. "And tear up when she succeeds. I watch her on TV, and scream at 2:30 in the morning."
Amanda said representing her country would be especially emotional, due to her connection to the military.
"My dad is in the military," she said. "So the National Anthem has always meant a lot to me. And to actually be the reason that it's played, would mean everything."