How Juliana Gomez Bagged Her First Gold and Became a Fencing Champion

How Juliana Gomez Bagged Her First Gold and Became a Fencing Champion


By manifesting success while putting in the work, Juliana Gomez made a name for herself in the fencing world by winning at the Air Force Open Fencing Championship in Thailand

A little-known fact about most athletes is that they are meticulous—some might even say superstitious. They often follow routines before every game or match as a way to control outcomes, especially since not performing a pre-game ritual could spell defeat or lead to a lack of focus for some athletes. Meanwhile, following a routine to the tee could be used to explain away a victory.

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On the other hand, when asked if she has any routines of her own, fencing champion Juliana Gomez said she didn’t for a specific reason. “When I started fencing, I made sure that I didn’t have any so that the way I felt wouldn’t depend on anything I can’t control,” she shared.

This answer encapsulates the sort of person Juliana is: self-determined and disciplined. According to her, she hasn’t stopped training since she began playing the sport in 2019, and, even as a beginner, she set goals as high as reaching the national team. 

That being said, continuing to fence has also forced her to grow past taking every loss deeply and personally. “I had to grow up in fencing because I had to learn how to really control my mind, how to adjust, how to focus,” Juliana says of her personal growth through the sport.

Regarding her training, Juliana comments that her routine before was more quantity over quality. “I used to kill myself at training,” she says of her previous routine. “Yeah, it was working hard, but was it quality work?”

Leading up to the championship in Thailand, she found the perfect balance of rest and quality training, which is why she thinks she won this time around. Juliana revealed that she cut down her training to twice everyday—strength and conditioning in the mornings and 3-hour fencing in the evenings, with active rest on Sundays. 

Speaking of international competitions—undeniably a surreal experience—Juliana says that she has very little nerves during such events due to having zero expectations of how her opponents play. However, she says she still can’t escape fear since she plays a sport where she could get hit. So what does she do? She throws the fear away.

“It’s so dumb, but then I just think to myself: this is my fear. I’m going to make the thought disappear in 3, 2, 1. It’s gone. I have to think about it that way, I have to visualize me throwing that thought away or burning it,” she says. She adds that visualizing herself doing this is the only way to convince her that the fear is gone. 

She says that manifestation or speaking goals into existence plays a big part in her fencing journey, but so do the losses. “I think all of the painful losses that I’ve experienced really prepared me for this moment because I made it a point to learn from those losses. I really did, because I never wanted to feel that way again,” Juliana shares.

She adds that she learns from her losses by technically analyzing her moves. She watches her performance and then writes down in her notebook ideas on how to improve and what she could have done differently. Reflecting on this habit, she says that she also won the championship because she corrected those mistakes along the way.

With that, Juliana shares that she plans to stick with fencing for as long as she can, and to work even harder. “My goals are so big that they scare me, and I’m not going to stop until I’m happy with where I am,” she says.

“I think this achievement humbled me—I’m definitely enjoying the victory, but at the same time, I’ve never seen myself more obsessed with fencing. I just want to get better and I want to win more medals for the country and I really want to show people what Filipino fencing can do because we have lots of good fencers, we have very talented coaches, and we’re blessed with good facilities,” she ends.

Photos from JULIANA GOMEZ (via Instagram)

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