UK Medical Student Lee Kiefer Takes the Gold in Women's Foil

photo of Lee Kiefer competing for USA Fencing
Lee Kiefer (right) competes at an international fencing meet. Photo provided.

TOKYO (July 25, 2021) — University of Kentucky College of Medicine student and Lexington native Lee Kiefer became the first American to win a gold medal in an individual foil event defeating reigning Olympic champion Inna Deriglazova (ROC) 15-13 in Tokyo. She also earned Team USA's first fencing medal of the delayed 2020 Olympics and ninth medal since The Games began. 

In the previous rounds, Kiefer opened with a 15-4 win over Amita Berthier (SGP) in the 32, a 15-13 win over Pan American rival Eleanor Harvey (CAN), a quarterfinal win of 15-11 against Yuka Ueno (JPN), and a 15-6 win in the semifinal against 2012 Olympic team silver medalist Larisa Korobeynikova (ROC). 

The gold medal is the first won by any American in an individual foil event. Kiefer joins Team USA's Mariel Zagunis, gold medal winner in women's individual sabre in 2004 and 2008, as the only American women in fencing to win an individual gold medal.

A graduate of Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School and University of Notre Dame, Kiefer is a three-time Olympian and four-time Senior World medalist. And, she is not the only person in her family competing in Tokyo. Her husband, Gerek Meinhardt, is also a member of USA Fencing. This is Meinhardt's fourth Olympics after winning bronze in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. 

Kiefer is the second Wildcat to medal in Tokyo. Economics senior Will Shaner took the gold in the men's air rifle competition. Read more on all 22 Wildcats competing in the Olympics here.  

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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