Kamara James, U.S. Fencing Olympian, Dies in Modesto

Kamara James, a former U.S. fencing Olympian, died suddenly in Modesto this month, USA Fencing announced.

James, a New York City native, was 29. The cause of death was not announced, but friends and former teammates noted that the Princeton graduate had battled mental illness.

James was an outstanding scholar, using near-perfect SAT scores to secure an academic scholarship to Princeton. She took a year off from college to qualify for the Olympics, and raised more than $50,000 to pay her own way there, according to USFencing.org.

She had retired from fencing after the 2004 Games.

According to friends, James had just settled down into a "stable drug regimen" to soothe her mental illness before her death.

Details of a memorial service are pending.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story used an incorrect photo to identify Kamara James.

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