Fiona Imboden: Turning a Surprise Olympian Into a Career
By Kathy Zucker
Fiona Imboden was a stay-at-home mom for ten years. Except that she was never home.
Where was she? Working tirelessly to put together events attended by thousands and creating a group travel program at her son Race’s high school.
Two years ago, when Race Imboden was a junior in high school, he was a typical New York City student on the brink of applying to college. He worked to keep his grade point average high, took the SAT, and burnished his resume with clubs and extracurricular activities while touring colleges. His fencing coach, 2004 Olympian Jed Dupree, encouraged him to attend his alma mater, Columbia University, but Race chose Notre Dame for the strong academics and the school spirit of a big ten university.
A top-ranked junior fencer, Race was on track to have a stellar college fencing career when he decided to put his plans on hold for a year to pursue making the London 2012 Olympic team. Seemingly overnight, he went from being virtually unknown on the international circuit to becoming the top American fencer via a #5 world ranking.
This is the point where the story diverges from the ordinary to the extraordinary. In 2012, the Imboden family experienced the following events:
- The Dwight School took out a billboard in Times Square congratulating Race Imboden on his Olympic “Spark of Genius”
- Fiona Imboden was hired as Director of Lower School Activities and Dwight Trips, creating innovative programs such as live blogging class trips to Kenya
- Race Imboden led the US men’s foil team to a historic Olympic win over perennial favorite France
- Race Imboden withdrew his letter of intent to Notre Dame in favor of staying in New York City to further his athletic training
- Race Imboden walked the runway as a professional model during New York Fashion Week
In the space of one year, a stay-at-home mom transformed into an educational program leader and a high school student was catapulted into the media limelight. Expecting the unexpected is par for the course in parenting, but the story of the Imboden family takes that mantra to the extreme.
Related – Maya Lawrence, Olympic Medalist: Exceeding Expectations in Sports & Life
Kathy Zucker, accidental entrepreneur and mother of three young children, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter @KathyZucker.
Tags: activities, athletics, fencing, olympics