Lee Kiefer wins gold, makes history in Tokyo


Team USA’s Lee Kiefer celebrates after she defeated Inna Deriglazova of the Russian Olympic Committee 15-13 for the gold medal of the women’s individual foil fencing event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Hunter Shelton

A medical student at the University of Kentucky made history at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. 

Lee Kiefer became the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in individual foil fencing, defeating defending champion Inna Deriglazova of the Russia Olympic Committee 15-13 in the final of the women’s individual foil.  

“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 said.

The third time was the charm for the 27-year-old, as she made her Olympic debut in 2012 in London, where she placed fifth in the competition, followed by a tenth-place finish in Rio in 2016.  

Kiefer, a four-time NCAA champion at Notre Dame, was born in Ohio but raised in Lexington. She is a graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and is currently in medical school at UK. 

Following Will Shaner’s gold medal performance in the men’s 10-meter air rifle event, Kiefer became the second Wildcat to earn gold in Tokyo for team USA.