UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ana Beatriz DiRienzo Bulcão is working toward a bachelor’s degree in business through Penn State World Campus, but she has another goal she wants to achieve first: winning an Olympic medal for Brazil.
Bulcão, Brazil’s top-ranked fencer, hopes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She competed in the Olympics in her home country in 2016, two years before she started taking classes through World Campus, and placed 31st in women’s individual foil.
Competing in the Olympics before a home crowd was “amazing,” Bulcao said. “The scream of the fans gave me the fire to fight for each point.”
Now, her dream is to represent Brazil on the medal stand in Tokyo.
The 25-year-old Bulcão, who goes by Bia, said she always wanted to attend Penn State because of its strong academics and its nationally ranked fencing program. She originally applied to the University Park campus, but deferred her acceptance because of the expense of traveling to and living in the United States. After the Olympics, she discovered World Campus, which allowed her to schedule classes around her rigorous training schedule.