Hurley also remarked on her family’s trip, saying that that their stay in London proved to be stressful and that the atmosphere around the Athlete’s Village, near their apartment rental, was very competitive.
“The girls hung out a lot at the apartment that we rented,” Hurley said. “It helped keep them focused and relaxed.”
Both Hurley and her husband were very close to making the 1980 Olympic Games which were held in Moscow, Russia. However, the U.S. – along with several other countries- boycotted the games.
“That was our big disappointment that it was boycotted,” Hurley said. “We knew it was going to be boycotted before the team selection had been announced. Everyone kind of gave up halfway through the season after that.”
Hurley quit fencing seven years ago, stating that one of the primary reasons for doing so was to spend more time working with her daughters.
“I couldn’t concentrate enough to do both,” Hurley said.
Hurley said that her daughters do most if not all of their training at home.
“There’s a local club in town called Olympian that they go to sometimes,” Hurley said. “They also go to a club in Houston called the Lion’s Fencing Academy where the level of fencing is much higher.”
Hurley explained that she and her husband have conditioned their daughters to not be competitive with each other, noting that by having them work with each other instead of against they can both benefit.
“It’s really more of a philosophy that we have. We call ourselves Team Hurley,” she said. “What that means is if either one wins, everybody benefits from it.”
When they were young, Hurley said, it was difficult for Kelly and Courtney to really embrace the team spirit because they were very competitive with each other.
But it didn’t take the sisters too long to realize this was neither a benefit to the family or their competitive pursuits.
“Plus, it makes for a hostile home environment,” Hurley quipped.
“It’s something that the whole family is involved in so it’s a common activity, a common value that the family has that keeps [us] together,” Hurley said. “We’re all pointing in the same direction. It’s something that makes [us] a very strong nuclear family.”
Hurley said her daughters were not what you would call “typical teens.” During high school both sisters would spend months away traveling to Europe and Asia for fencing competitions.
“It’s good to have someone to travel down the path with. I think the two sisters have made each other stronger by being there together and going through it together,” Hurley said. “It’s easier it being a sibling. You eat, drink, and sleep it together.”
Hurley pointed out that there are a lot of sibling teams in fencing, suspecting that this is true for every kind of sport. When two siblings want to join a sport, it’s just easier for Mom and Dad to take them to one place instead of two.
“It’s not that unusual,” Hurley said. “What is unusual is when two of them get that good.”
Courtney will be competing in the Women’s Individual Epee tournament on July 30 and again with her sister Kelly in the team Epee event on August 4.