Lee Kiefer makes history as first American to win individual foil

Lee Kiefer

Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected to refer to Inna Deriglazova as a representative of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), not Russia.

Lee Kiefer made history on Sunday as the first-ever American to win a gold in individual foil fencing.

Score: Kiefer, 27, scored 15-13 to defeat Inna Deriglazova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), who won the gold in Rio 2016. She exclaimed after the final point, “Oh my God!”

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  • Kiefer is the second woman in U.S. history to win an Olympic gold in fencing. The first was Mariel Zagunis, who won gold in women’s individual sabre in 2004 and 2008, according to NBC Olympics.
  • Kiefer made her Olympic debut in London 2012, finishing fifth in the individual competition and sixth with her team. She finished 10th in Rio 2016, the Associated Press noted.

Background: Kiefer was born to a Filipino mother and an American father in Cleveland. She is married to Gerek Meinhardt, who won bronze in team foil in Rio and is also competing in Tokyo.

  • “It’s such an incredible feeling that I share with my coach, I share with my husband, with my family, just everyone that’s been a part of this,” Kiefer told the Indianapolis Star. “I wish I could chop it up in little pieces and distribute it to everyone I love.”
  • Kiefer believed that Rio 2016 would be her last Olympics. But she decided to pursue Tokyo with encouragement from her husband, her family and advisors at the University of Kentucky, where she currently attends as a medical student.
  • The 27-year-old is reportedly completing clinical rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and neurology. After Tokyo, she will finish rotations in pediatrics and surgery, according to the New York Post.
  • Kiefer and her husband created a fencing strip in her parents’ basement so they can train amid the pandemic. Her father was a fencing captain at Duke, while her siblings have also competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and junior worlds.

Featured Image via Getty

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