DENVER (CBS4) – A teenager from Colorado is turning heads in the world of fencing. Aleksandra Strzalkowski is not only traveling to world for international competitions, but she’s finishing on the podium.

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When Strzalkowski tells people she fences, most of the time she sees a confused look on their faces.

“It’s fairly often, but as soon as I kind of talk about it a little bit more they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I think I saw that in the Olympics.'”

At only 15 years old, she is a rising star in a sport she says is only part physical.

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“The major part of it is definitely mental. If you’re mental game is off, there’s really no way you can be successful,” she said.

(credit: Aleksandra Strzalkowski)

Strzalkowski has already competed in six international competitions — placing in the top 16 of all of them. She recentely took third place in a world even in Hungary, and anchored her U.S. team to a gold medal.

“For me it was just like, ‘Hey this is kind of fun. All these people are watching me, cheering me on.’ I feed off that energy you know?”

Is it kind of cool thinking about that you’re doing a sport that people we’re doing hundreds of years ago?” asked CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

“I love it, for all I know my ancestors could have done it,” she said.

Well it was her father who got her into it. An accomplished fencer himself, he now serves as coach.

(credit: Aleksandra Strzalkowski)

“Lot of people think it’s different from all these other sports,” she said.

“In football you have to know what the other team’s going to do so you can counter that,” she said.

The practice with problem solving has also helped her in the classroom.

“I’ve noticed the better I’ve gotten with my fencing the better I’ve gotten with my math. I should have fenced in high school then,” she said laughing.

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Her new goal is set on making the Olympics.

“2024 is definitely… that’s one I’m really pushing for.”