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One to Watch: Courtney and Kelley Hurley

Academics drew sisters to Notre Dame on way to Olympics

Courtney Hurley

Courtney and Kelley Hurley
University of Notre Dame
Sport: Fencing 

The 2016 Olympic Games mark the second and third Olympic Games for Courtney and Kelley Hurley, respectively. The pair have been atop the fencing world since they began competing on world teams when Kelley was 17. Kelley, the elder by two years, was a four-time USA Fencing Division I individual national champion at the University of Notre Dame before helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2012 Games. Courtney was a four-time NCAA First-Team All-American at Notre Dame and joined her sister as a member of the first U.S. team to win an Olympic medal in women’s epee. The two failed to advance out of the round of 32 Saturday in the individual women’s epee event but will have another opportunity to compete in the team event.

When to watch: The women’s team epee round of 16 will air on Thursday at 8 a.m. Eastern time. 

Kelley Hurley

Why we’re cheering: The Hurley sisters’ fencing careers certainly have been a family affair. The two are coached by their father, Bob Hurley, who met his wife through the sport. The family set up home base in San Antonio, traveling around in a recreational vehicle to local fencing tournaments. Kelley and Courtney each chose Notre Dame not just to be together, but also because the school provided the best opportunity for both athletics and academics. Notre Dame helped the sisters discover that more than fencing runs in the family: Both girls excelled academically. Kelley plans to pursue medical school after the Rio games while Courtney took a year off in preparation for the 2012 Olympics before returning to earn her degree in film, television and theater with a supplementary major in computer applications.