Five Notre Dame fencers to represent U.S. at Olympics
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, April 20, 2016
One current and four former Notre Dame fencers will represent the United States at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mariel Zagunis, sisters Kelley and Courtney Hurley, Gerek Meinhardt and Lee Kiefer were selected for the 17-member U.S. Olympic team following a year-long qualification process.
Zagunis, a 2006 graduate, will be making her fourth Olympic appearance and is one of the most accomplished fencers in United States’ Olympic history. She is a two-time individual gold medalist, capturing the titles in 2004 and 2008, and also earned a bronze medal in 2008 as a member of the women’s sabre team. With her gold medal in 2004, Zagunis became the first U.S. fencer to win an Olympic gold medal in 100 years and the first U.S. women’s fencer ever to win a medal.
Kelley Hurley, a 2010 graduate, will be taking part in her third Olympics after qualifying as an individual epeeist in 2008 and with the women’s epee team in 2012. In 2012, she was an alternate and defeated Anna Sivkova of Russia after replacing Susie Scanlan to help the United States women’s epee team earn the bronze medal.
Meinhardt, a 2015 graduate, will also be making his third Olympic appearance. He is currently the No. 3 men’s foilist in the world and became the youngest U.S. Olympic fencer of all time when he made the team in 2008 at the age of 17.
Courtney Hurley, a 2012 graduate and the younger sister of Kelley Hurley, will be making her second appearance in the Olympics. She qualified as both an individual epeeist and with the women’s epee team in 2012, when she clinched the winning touch in the team’s bronze-medal match against Russia to secure its place on the podium.
Kiefer, a current senior for Notre Dame who took this past season off to participate in the qualification cycle, will be taking place in her second Olympic Games. She has won the NCAA women’s foil championship in all three seasons she has competed for the Irish, and she finished fifth as an individual foilist during her only Olympic appearance in 2012.
With five representatives on the U.S. team, Notre Dame boasts more Olympians than any other NCAA program and is just one of three programs with multiple representatives.