Our latest Scholar Athlete of the Week is a fencing champion who received perfect scores on his Advanced Placement exams, staying sharp on the floor and in the classroom. NY1's Anthony Pascale introduces us.
As a child, Michael Lee tried his hand at many sports, but it was fencing that stuck with him.
"Just as it's 100 percent physical, it's 100 percent mental," Lee said. "There are so many things that happen during fencing, and your mind is training harder than your body."
Lee attends the New Explorations Technology into Science, Technology, and Math High School.
The senior started fencing when he was just eight years old.
By age 14, he began competing on the national level.
Not only is Lee a PSAL champion, but he is also a gold medalist in the North American Cup National Tournament, earning the top spot out of nearly 200 competitors.
"I don't believe in wins and losses," Lee said. "I usually believe there is always progress and improvement; that no matter if I win or lose, there will always be some progress into something bigger."
Lee carries that same philosophy into the classroom.
He is busy with Advanced Placement History, calculus and physics courses. The honors student received perfect scores on all three of those exams.
"He's one of those students that you love coming to work for because they're going to give it their all," said the school's athletic director, Chad Cinquegrana. "They're excited to learn, excited to do whatever you ask of them, and they're ready to participate."
Lee said he owes much of his academic success to fencing. He said the sport helps him manage his time and keep his mind sharp.
That is why he said it is so important for him to help his fellow teammates become stronger fencers.
"He took individual fencers who knew nothing about fencing and molded them, brought them up to where they were some of the strongest fencers in PSAL fencing," said Lee's fencing coach, Brandon Chu.
"It just helps push me in a way that you can adapt to things," Lee said. "I look at every single problem, I don't want to get stuck on them — I just move on. It's the same mental game."
Lee is not sure yet where he will study in the fall, but he plans to major in math and computer science. And he said he will be sure to continue fencing.
And so, for so staying "on-point," Michael Lee is our Ford Lincoln of Queens/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.