Notre Dame has seven Heisman Trophy winners. It won’t be long until it has that many fencing gold medals.
The third came Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics, where Lee Kiefer beat defending champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia 15-13 in the women’s foil final.
The Lexington native ripped off her mask after the final point and shouted, “Oh my God!”
Mariel Zagunis, also a Notre Dame graduate, is the only other American fencer to earn gold, winning women’s saber events at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Kiefer’s gold is the first in Tokyo by an athlete with an Indiana connection. Indiana Olympians won 19 medals at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Kiefer, 27, a four-time NCAA champion and three-time Olympian, is a medical student at the University of Kentucky. Her husband, Gerek Meinhardt, won a team bronze in foil in 2016. Notre Dame established the Lee Kiefer/Gerek Meinhardt Award in 2018, honoring a fencer giving time selflessly and humbly in training.