Paris Olympics Team USA Fencer Lee Kiefer Husband, Parents, and Age

Lee Kiefer, 29, is an American fencer who competes with her right hand using a foil weapon. Kiefer has won four NCAA championships, ten team gold medals at the Pan American Games, nine individual gold medals at the Pan American Games, and the 2018 team world championship title.

Kiefer has also qualified to represent the United States and compete at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This will be her fourth time competing at the Olympic level.

Kiefer has competed in three Olympic Games so far. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she became the individual Olympic champion in the foil event. Kiefer made history by being the first American foil fencer, male or female, to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual competition. She previously participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Lee Kiefer Is Qualified for Paris Olympics 2024

Olympic champion Lee Kiefer, three-time Olympic medalist Alexander Massialas, and Tokyo bronze medal winner Nick Itkin are the first fencers from the United States to secure their places in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

Kiefer, aged 29, is heading to her fourth Olympics. She is currently ranked number one in the world in the foil fencing event. At the recent world championships, she won bronze medals in 2022 and 2023. In Tokyo 2020, Kiefer made history by becoming only the third American fencer to win an Olympic gold medal, following Albertson Van Zo Post in 1904 and Mariel Zagunis in 2004 and 2008.

Massialas, also 29 years old and competing in his fourth Olympics, is ranked fourth globally in men’s foil fencing. He previously won a silver medal in the individual event at the 2016 Rio Olympics and bronze medals in the team events at both the Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

Itkin, aged 24, has qualified for his second Olympic Games after being part of the bronze medal-winning foil team in Tokyo 2020. In the individual event at the previous Olympics, he was eliminated in the second round. However, since then, Itkin has won individual bronze and silver medals at the last two world championships, becoming the first American male fencer to achieve this feat in consecutive years. Itkin’s father was a fencer from Ukraine, and his mother competed in gymnastics for Ukraine. Itkin is currently ranked fifth in the world in foil fencing.

Fencing gold medalist Lee Kiefer at Tokyo Olympics 2020

When Lee Kiefer won the gold medal in the individual foil event at the Tokyo Olympics, she became the first fencer from the United States to achieve this huge accomplishment.

This victory was the result of a lifetime dedicated to the sport, from practicing in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, to winning four NCAA Championships while competing for the University of Notre Dame, to successfully balancing her fencing career with studying at the University of Kentucky’s medical school.

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Celebrating with Kiefer in Tokyo were her husband, Gerek Meinhardt, who is a four-time Olympic fencer and was her teammate in college, as well as her long-time coach, Amgad Khazbak. In the United States, Kiefer’s parents, her sister Alex (who won an individual fencing championship at Harvard), and her brother Axel (who was Lee’s teammate at Notre Dame) cheered her on from afar.

Kiefer and her husband, Gerek Meinhardt, who is also a fencer for Team USA and an Olympic medalist, are both taking a break from medical school and competing at the 2023 Pan American Games. Together, they have won an impressive total of 11 medals from previous Pan American Games, with Kiefer seeking her fourth consecutive individual victory in Santiago.

Lee Kiefer Family Life with her Mother, Father, and her Early Life, Nationality

Lee Kiefer (age 29 years) was born on June 15, 1994 , in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. Kiefer holds an Mixed ethnicity but is an US Nationality as her mother, Teresa, is a psychiatrist who was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States as a child. Her father, Steve, is a neurosurgeon who once captained the fencing team at Duke University. Kiefer stands at a height of 1.63 meters (5 feet 4 inches) and weighs 49 kilograms (108 pounds).

Lee Kiefer with her Mother and Grandmother
Image: Lee Kiefer with her Mother and her Grandmother (Source: Lee’s Instagram)

She graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 2012. Kiefer attended the University of Notre Dame, where she fenced for the Fighting Irish team and graduated in 2017. She is currently a medical student at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Her fencing club is Bluegrass Fencers Club, and her head coach is Amgad Khazbak.

Kiefer’s sister, Alex, is a former foil fencer at Harvard University and the 2011 NCAA champion. Alex is now a doctor. Kiefer also has a younger brother, Axel, who won the gold medal in the junior division at the 2015 USA Fencing National Championships. Axel attended the University of Notre Dame, where he fenced foil and finished second in the 2019 NCAA Championship.

Meet Fencing couple Lee Kiefer and Gerek Meinhardt and their Relationship

Lee Kiefer and fellow foil fencer Gerek Meinhardt began dating in January 2012. They became engaged in January 2018 and got married in September 2019. The couple recently celebrated their 4 years of marriage anniversary.

Gerek Lin Meinhardt was born on July 27, 1990. He is an American right-handed foil fencer. Meinhardt has won two NCAA championships, 12 team gold medals at the Pan American Games, three individual gold medals at the Pan American Games, and the 2019 team world championship.

Meinhardt has competed in four Olympic Games and won two team bronze medals. He participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2012 London Olympics, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Lee Kiefer Husband Gerek Meinhardt
Image: Lee Kiefer and Gerek Meinhardt Marriage Life (Source: Lee’s Instagram)

Gerek is one of two children born to Kurt Meinhardt and Jane Meinhardt. He attended Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco for two years and completed his high school education through a home-schooling program. He received a full fencing scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame. Meinhardt stands at a height of 1.83 meters (6 feet 0 inches) and weighs 77 kilograms (170 pounds).

Meinhardt majored in business and finance and was a member of the Notre Dame fencing team from 2009 to 2014. After graduating, he was employed by Deloitte Advisory before enrolling at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2020.

How Lee Kiefer’s started her Fencing Career

Kiefer began fencing at the age of five after watching her father compete in a local fencing competition. She and her siblings found the sport strange and interesting, so their father started teaching them the basics in their empty dining room. Twice a week, he would take them to a fencing club that was 1.5 hours away from their home.

In 2009, Lee Kiefer was considered the youngest member of the 2009 United States Senior World Foil Team.

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In 2011, she was the only athlete in the entire world to have earned individual medals at the senior, junior, and cadet world championship events. At the 2011 Pan American Games, she won gold medals in both the individual and team foil competitions.

In 2012, Kiefer ranked as the top women’s foil fencer in the United States in both the junior and senior divisions, while also being ranked number 4 in the world at the senior level leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games. She reached the quarterfinal round of the women’s foil event and was a member of the United States Women’s foil team that finished in sixth place at the 2012 Olympics. Additionally, she secured her first career Olympic team spot after winning gold at the January 2012 North American Cup in both the junior and Division I categories.

Lee Kiefer in her Prime

In 2013, she finished in ninth place at the Gdansk Grand Prix event in February. The following week, she improved to seventh place at the St. Petersburg World Cup. She then finished in sixth place at the Marseille Grand Prix event, before earning a top-three finish in the individual competition at the Junior World Championships.

In 2013, Kiefer was again ranked as the top women’s foil fencer in the United States in both the junior and senior divisions, while also being ranked number 4 in the world at the senior level, just as she had been entering the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2014, during the 2014-15 season, Kiefer climbed her first World Cup podium by winning a silver medal at the Saint-Maur event. She then went on to win the Algiers World Cup in early 2015 after defeating the world number one ranked fencer, Arianna Errigo, who had previously beaten Kiefer at Saint-Maur.

By winning at the 2014 NCAA Fencing National Championships, she joined male fencer Gerek Meinhardt and swimmer Emma Reaney as the second trio from the University of Notre Dame to be named individual national champions in a single year. They were also the fourth group to either win an individual national championship or be named national athlete of the year in the same year.

In 2015, during her time competing for the University of Notre Dame, she was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Women’s Foilist of the Year.

Lee Pan American Games and Olympics

In 2016, Kiefer became the first fencer to win eight Pan American championship titles. She achieved this by claiming her seventh consecutive gold medal in women’s foil at the 2016 edition of the tournament held in Panama City, Panama.

In 2017, while still competing for Notre Dame, she was again named the ACC Women’s Foilist of the Year. She also received the 2017 Walter M. Langford Award for displaying sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork. Kiefer went on to become the first fencer to win eight total Pan American championship titles.

In 2018, following her win at the Long Beach Grand Prix on March 18, 2017, she moved up to the number one ranking in the FIE world rankings, becoming the first American woman to hold the number one position.

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She made history by becoming the first fencer representing the United States of America to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual foil event when she triumphed at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

In 2020, Kiefer qualified to represent the United States in fencing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which took place in 2021 due to the pandemic. She reached the final in the individual foil event and defeated Inna Deriglazova, the defending champion, with a score of 15-13 to win the gold medal. Kiefer is the first American, male or female, to win Olympic gold in individual foil fencing.

In 2022, Kiefer participated in the Individual Women’s Foil event located in Cairo, Egypt, where she ranked third.

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