Two Southern Olympians Make History in Their Sports
Day two of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo was historic for Team USA, when, for the first time ever, American women won gold in fencing and taekwondo—and they're both from the South.
Lee Kiefer bested Rio 2016 champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia to become the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in individual foil fencing on Sunday. She is also the first American to earn a gold medal in any individual discipline of fencing. Just steps away, Anastasija Zolotic beat Tatiana Minina, also from Russia, to become the first American woman to win the gold medal in women's taekwondo shortly thereafter.
Kiefer, 27, was a four-time NCAA champion at Notre Dame and is currently a medical student at the University of Kentucky. She ripped off her mask and shouter "Oh my God!" as her match against Deriglazova ended with a score of 15-13.
"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," an ecstatic Kiefer told reporters. "I wish I could chop it up in little pieces and distributed it to everyone I love."
After beating Minina with a score of 25-17, 18-year-old Zolotic told reporters that her younger self was "running around the schoolyard saying I was going to be Olympic champion, but she could never have imagined what this moment is like."