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Lainoff Given Spirit of Sport Recognition

Lillie Lainoff. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Lillie Lainoff. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale senior Lillie Lainoff has been given the USA Fencing Spirit of Sport recognition.

Every quarter, USA Fencing awards an individual from each region this accolade. Meant for a fencer who "exemplifies the true meaning of sport," the award recognizes athletes who have gone out of their way to be great leaders and teammates in their fencing communities. Lainoff's mother nominated her for the honor.

Having started fencing at the young age of nine, Lainoff believes that it is her love of the sport that has kept her fencing all these years: "I didn't start fencing thinking that I would end up falling in love with a sport that would stay with me for the rest of my life."

She credits the people in the fencing world and, most importantly, the coaches that she has had along the way for nurturing this passion of hers.

"Coach took a chance on me," Lainoff explained, referring to Yale Head Coach Henry Harutunian. She is ever so grateful.

Lainoff plans to keep fencing even after the end of her collegiate career: "I am going to have to do a lot of rehab for my back injury…but I still intend on continuing to compete."

To the budding writer, Yale Fencing has meant the world.

"It has been the source of my best and worst moments at Yale," she stated. "You know that [something] is worthwhile when it has the capacity to bring such joy and such frustration."

Lainoff looks forward to seeing her former teammates back on campus as she finishes her undergraduate degree in the fall.

Report by Lucy Friedmann '19, Yale Sports Publicity