Notre Dame’s Lee Kiefer credits her circle of relatives for winning the fencing gold medal Tokyo Olympics
Notre Dame has seven Heisman Trophy winners. It won’t be long until it has that many fencing gold medals.
The third got here Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics, wherein Lee Kiefer beat defending champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia 15-13 within the lady’s foil final.
Kiefer ripped off her mask after the final factor and shouted, “Oh my God!”
Mariel Zagunis, also a Notre Dame graduate, is the simplest different American fencer to earn gold, triumphing ladies saber events at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Kiefer’s gold is the first in Tokyo by way of an athlete with an Indiana connection. Indiana Olympians gained 19 medals at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Kiefer, 27, a 4-time NCAA champion and 3-time Olympian, is a medical student at the University of Kentucky. Her husband, Gerek Meinhardt, gained a group bronze in foil in 2016. Notre Dame hooked up the Lee Kiefer/Gerek Meinhardt Award in 2018, honoring a fencer giving time selflessly and humbly in education.
Kiefer is so petite – 5-4, a hundred and ten kilos – that it can be difficult to identify her recreation inside the Olympic Village.
Marathoner? Gymnast? Coxswain?
“human beings probably simply suppose I’m a guest,” she once stated.
She took lessons in horseback using and piano before devoting herself to fencing. At some point in the pandemic, she skilled on a fencing strip she helped construct in her mother and father’s basement.
She was located fifth in foil in 2012 and tenth in 2016. So long as 10 years ago, her bronze made her the second American female fencer to win a medal on the senior world Championships.
“It’s such a first-rate feeling that I share with my coach, I share with my husband, with my family, just absolutely everyone that’s been a part of this,” Kiefer stated. “I want I should chop it up in little portions and dispensed it to everyone I like.”
Fencing has had a preserve on her circle of relatives.
Her father, Steve, become a fencing captain at Duke. However, Her older sister, Alex, turned into an NCAA champion at Harvard. Her younger brother, Axel, has competed in the junior worlds. Kiefer said she become stimulated by her father.
“earlier than I left, my dad wrote me a card, and he stated that we had been on this adventure. We’ve achieved our exceptional and our pot of gold has been crammed all alongside as we moved along and just being right here is the icing on top,” she said.
“I simply sense so much love and I have a lot to offer lower back to everybody. My dad pushed me from the start. We used to bump heads all of the time because we are each so competitive and call for excellence, but here we’re. Thanks, dad.”
Deriglazova, 31, gained global titles in foil in 2019, 2017, and 2015. She received a crew silver in foil at the 2012 Olympics.
She turned into disconsolate afterward.
“but from the very beginning I did some errors so I began to lose, she started to win, and at this factor, I used to be now not so confident,” the Russian stated. “I started to make greater mistakes, to be quicker after I didn’t need to do that. I think I threw away a danger.”
Kiefer changed into 5-0 Sunday.
She gained 15-four over Singapore’s Arnita Berthier (every other Notre Dame fencer); 15-13 over Canada’s Eleanor Harvey, 15-eleven over Japan’s Yuka Ueno; 15-6 over Russia’s Larisa Korobeynikova (RUS); 15-13 over Deriglazova.
Kiefer’s mother, Teresa, is from the Philippines. The fencer is among a collection of distinguished Filipino American athletes that includes baseball pitcher Tim Lincecum, football players Tedy Bruschi and Roman Gabriel, basketball player Nate Robinson, parent skater Tai Babilonia, gymnast Kyla Ross and bicycle owner Coryn Rivera.
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