She Fenced Like a Champion

 

Lee Kiefer celebrates winning a gold medal in women's individual foil

As the sporting world navigates any number of contentious issues, there are athletes that labor in obscurity. They are not as well known as athletes in other sports, but they work just as hard to succeed.

Lee Kiefer became the first American woman to win a gold medal in the women’s individual foil event and earned Team USA’s first fencing medal of the Tokyo games. She defeated reigning Olympic champion Inna Deriglazova 15-13 to capture her first career Olympic medal after finishing fifth in London.

She is one of 11 current, and former Notre Dame fencers that are competing in the Tokyo Olympics. Lee graduated from Notre Dame in 2017. She is currently a student at the University of Kentucky medical school.

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    That was wonderful. Thanks, Doug, for posting this. This young woman is incredible. I’d love to see a video of her championship match. A quick search didn’t yield any good results.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    What an incredible young woman! Good for her! I’m glad she is representing the USA!

    • #2
  3. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    I hope she gets a cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean XII.

    • #3
  4. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    So happy to hear!  I  celebrate the achievements of all athletes who are proud to represent the USA. 

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Great news!

    My heart still belongs to Mariel and the sabre:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI1NC7HLYPY

    And she’s doesn’t mind helping others:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfBOR49204Y

     

    • #5
  6. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Stad (View Comment):

    Great news!

    My heart still belongs to Mariel and the sabre:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI1NC7HLYPY

    And she’s doesn’t mind helping others:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfBOR49204Y

    Mariel, another member of the 11 former, and current Notre Dame fencers who will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics. She attended Valley Catholic School in Beaverton, OR. A Kindergarten through 12th grade school. She earned her first Olympic gold medal at 19 years of age. Sabre is her choice of weapon.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Sabre is her choice of weapon.

    As was mine.  There are a couple of sayings about sabre fencers:

    “Foil fencers talk about the techniques of fencing. Épée fencers talk about the esoterics of fencing. Sabre fencers talk about themselves.”
    ~ Nick Evangelista 1996 ~

    “If you want to find out about fencers, go up behind one as he faces a practice target. Burst a balloon behind his back. The foilist will immediately lunge at the pad. The épéeist will stand his ground, immobile but alert. The sabreur will swing round and assault you.”
    ~ Hungarian axiom ~

    And then this general principle which applies to our shrinking military:

    “Those who beat their swords into ploughshares may one day find themselves ruled by those of us who kept their swords.”
    ~ Unknown ~

    • #7
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Stad (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Sabre is her choice of weapon.

    As was mine. There are a couple of sayings about sabre fencers:

    “Foil fencers talk about the techniques of fencing. Épée fencers talk about the esoterics of fencing. Sabre fencers talk about themselves.”
    ~ Nick Evangelista 1996 ~

    “If you want to find out about fencers, go up behind one as he faces a practice target. Burst a balloon behind his back. The foilist will immediately lunge at the pad. The épéeist will stand his ground, immobile but alert. The sabreur will swing round and assault you.”
    ~ Hungarian axiom 

    Foil fencing scores hits only to the torso, smallest target. The foil has a small circular guard to deflect or help trap thrusts.

    Sabre scores waist up, including the arms. Its guard wraps around the hand to protect against slashing and thrusts.

    Épée scores literally from head to toe, and has a deep bowl guard to deflect thrusts to the hand and forearm.

    Both foil and Épée score only thrusts with the tip, saber counts both cut and thrust. Hence, the épéeist must be the most cautious and strategic in offense, as even the movement forward of the lead leg is offering a target for counterattack.

    I remember Notre Dame as an elite program that even imported talent way back in the early 1980s.

     

    • #8
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Women’s sabre is underway, Monday 26 July in Japan, with Zagunis now in the round of 16 remaining competitors. The gold medal bout happens before dawn in America, late this evening in Japan.

    It should surprise no one that a Hungarian dominated men’s sabre:

    Hungarian fencer Áron Szilágyi cruised to victory in the men’s individual sabre — and into the history books too — after defeating Italy’s Luigi Samele 15-7 on Day 1 of the fencing competition at Tokyo 2020.
    The win meant Szilágyi became the first man ever to win three Olympic gold medals in an individual fencing discipline (he was also champion at London 2012 and Rio 2016).

    Like judo and some other combat sports, and unlike much of the rest of Olympic events, you see multiple bouts in one day. Hence a gold medal on Day 1 of competition.

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Both foil and Épée score only thrusts with the tip, saber counts both cut and thrust. Hence, the épéeist must be the most cautious and strategic in offense, as even the movement forward of the lead leg is offering a target for counterattack.

    And in epee, both fencers get a point for simultaneous touches.

    We had one fencer in our club who fenced the epee in the most aggressive fashion anyone had ever seen.  It usually stymied his opponents, especially the first time when they weren’t expecting it.

    • #10
  11. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    I’m so far down Cynics’ Lane that one of my first thoughts was to wonder how many letters UK Med School has received suggesting she be expelled for the kind of exclusivist, jingoistic behavior she displayed to the world in the OP pic. Inclusion and Diversity must be the main goal any [Fill-in-the-Dicipline] School must inculcate.

    • #11
  12. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Fencing program at Texas A&M (couldn’t help myself).

     

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Fencing program at Texas A&M (couldn’t help myself).

     

    I’ve fenced like that! About 200 yards worth, one summer.

    • #13
  14. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Percival (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Fencing program at Texas A&M (couldn’t help myself).

     

    I’ve fenced like that! About 200 yards worth, one summer.

    foil, épée, sabre, bêche tarière

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Eeyore (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Fencing program at Texas A&M (couldn’t help myself).

     

    I’ve fenced like that! About 200 yards worth, one summer.

    foil, épée, sabre, bêche tarière

    Dos fort, esprit faible.

    • #15