Dr. Ann Marsh-Senic pulls into the parking lot at the Renaissance Fencing Club in Troy, Michigan, in early April. Marsh-Senic, a former Olympic fencer, keeps her mask and stethoscope in a bag, sealed up and locked in the truck. She wears the mask while intubating patients — the riskiest procedure that she has performed during the COVID-19 crisis — where she has to guide a tube down a patient’s throat before hooking it to a ventilator. She did it as many as three times a day during the past few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic swept across metro Detroit. But thankfully, things are improving. She works as an emergency room doctor in Southfield and Pontiac, and she isn’t intubating as many patients. She has started to see normal cases in the ER again. “When I intubate somebody, it's me and one nurse in the room and the ventilator but everybody else stands outside,” Marsh-Senic said. “I always have a second colleague standing outside the room, in case I have trouble. We're trying not to manually bag the patient, because that is thought to aerosolize the virus.” If that happens, a patient can send droplets of moisture that potentially carry the coronavirus into the air, like invisible deadly missiles. But she wears a mask with a helmet that makes her look like a beekeeper. The contraption has a filter, a forced air supply and battery pack. “Can we get a picture of you wearing the mask?” I ask, hoping she would put it on. A look of disbelief and shock crosses her face. She doesn’t touch her equipment outside of the hospital setting. “I just assume it has COVID on it,” she said. So that would be a strong no. She walks through the fencing club. Near the door, an Olympic torch is displayed on the wall. Marsh-Senic, 48, competed in three Olympic Games and was a team captain at the Rio Olympics. And now, she stands in the middle of the large training room, watching her husband, Anatolie Senic, and her daughter, Adeline, 12, go through a lesson. In a few minutes, they will hold a virtual workout for about 30 fencers on a Zoom call. This is how Marsh-Senic relieves stress. This sport is still the love of her life. Working with kids rejuvenates her. But I keep peppering her with questions about the virus. What’s it like in the hospital? What kind of patients are you seeing? Are you stressed? Is it getting better? She offers no emotional anecdotes. She shows no crack in a hardened armor, just resolve. “We are going to win,” she said. “You understand that, right? We are going to win. I mean, there's no doubt about that.” Maybe that attitude is not surprising. She has approached this crisis the same way that she approached the Olympics. You compete and adapt. No matter the score, you fight and keep fighting and you refuse to lose. And you always, always, heap praise on your teammates. “I'm honestly so grateful to my colleagues and the nurses at work for coming to work every day, and just making everything as safe as possible,” she said. Ann puts a yoga mat in front of the TV screen as the Zoom class begins. About 20 students appear on the screen, each one in their own square. “We have people across the continent watching us,” Anatolie says, facing the screen. He was a three-time World Cup participant and now coaches at Wayne State. “Are you good?” Anatolie says to the class. “All right guys, we are going to start warming up as usual. We are going to run back and forth, five or six steps forward, five or six steps back. After 30 seconds, we are going to switch.” He starts swinging his right arm. “Moving, moving, moving. Come on guys. I see you.” Ann goes through the routine, as do her children – Adeline and Lucas, 9. Both are nationally ranked. Music plays in the background. I glance at the screen and the class has grown to about 40 fencers. They are getting warmed up in their bedrooms, basements and family rooms. “My husband runs the class,” Ann said. “My daughter and son demonstrate the moves. I tore my Achilles tendon a few years ago, so I can't jump. When we do the burpees, I can do them, but not fully, so I try not be in the video.” She laughs. They are holding classes on Zoom every day of the week except Sundays. “It is important for the kids to exercise and have some sort of social interaction,” she said. “And then I think it also adds structure to their days so they have a scheduled activity.” She always seems to blend fencing and a medical point of view, seeing the benefits of sports. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia while training for the 1996 Olympics. And she finished medical school at the University of Rochester before the 2000 Games in Sydney. She thinks that emergency medicine is similar to fencing — thinking through everything and staying calm. “I’m an emergency room doctor. I'm used to having like a high level of stress.” One story about Marsh-Senic explains everything. It happened at the 2001 world fencing championships in Nîmes, France. She was competing in the team foil against Germany, and she was the final of four fencers. “When I went into the final bout, we were way behind,” she said. “My coach said, ‘Come on Ann, you can do this.’ “But then, for some reason, just the way he looked at me and when he said that I had this feeling we were going to win. Even though we were behind by like, I don't know, 14 touches.” She came from behind and won the match, giving the U.S. a bronze medal, just a few weeks after 9/11. “When we got our medal, all of the crowd cheered for us,” she said. “I was so proud because we had never won a medal. The crowd was so friendly, and I realized it was because of 9/11. It was like, we persevered.” Sports teaches lessons like that. “Absolutely,” she said. “And I feel like that's now like, I know we're gonna win. Everybody we're gonna win. The world — we're gonna win against the virus and we're gonna get a vaccine or treatments or, you know, it's gonna die out or whatever is gonna happen. But I just don't know when, we need time, right?" Marsh-Senic works for Independent Emergency Physicians, the only private physician-owned emergency medicine group in Michigan, and she has been stationed at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac and Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield. “Independent Emergency Physicians has done a great job of making sure we have the PPEs (personal protective equipment) we needed, and working with the various hospitals,” she says. “We had many donations from the community. I even had a fencing coach, who is from Atlanta and texted me if they could send me PPE, which she had. Yeah, I mean, I was so touched by that, that she would think of me.” Strangers continue to donate food to the hospitals. Somebody brought in a turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. “I don’t think I’m going to lose weight during this pandemic,” she says, laughing. Marsh-Senic says that at the hospitals she's working at, the pandemic peaked about three weeks ago. “I think it’s been three weeks or so since it was the worst," she said. "I don’t think we had the same infiltration that we had like we had in New York City. Even though we have a dense population, it’s still not as populated as it is in some areas.” . She is seeing more patients with typical emergencies, after hearing reports that some were fearful of going to the ER because of the coronavirus. "I understand people are afraid to get exposed but we keep the COVID patients in a separate area," she said. "I think it’s really important to weigh the risk properly because there's other things that are more dangerous.” And as I walk out of the facility and past a display of her Olympic jackets, I get a sense of calm. I believe Ann Marsh-Senic. This isn’t over. But we are going to win. Contact Jeff Seidel: firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff . To read his recent columns, go to freep.com/sports/jeff-seidel/ .