Mariel Zagunis: Olympic Sabre Gold

August 9, 2008

Meet Mariel Zagunis, an Olympic American Sabre fencing champion. See photos, video and read a biography of Mariel below.

Mariel Zagunis took home the gold medal in the Individual Sabre Fencing event at the Beijing Olympics earlier today. It was an American sweep, as Zagunis beat Sada Jacobson 15-8 (she won the silver) and Becca Ward won the bronze.

Former President George H.W. Bush was seated in the front row during the medal ceremony and said:

“It was amazing. It was emotional. It was such a dramatic moment,” Bush said. “To win all three was simply magnificent.”

The three women will go on to compete in the Women’s Team Sabre event on Wednesday, where they are favored to win the gold.

As a biography, Mariel Zagunis was born on March 3, 1985 in Portland, Oregon. She is 23 years old. Her parents are former Olympians. Robert and Cathy Zagunis were rowers (he at Oregon State and she at Connecticut College) and competed on the U.S. rowing team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She has two brothers who are also fencers – Marten and Merrick.

She attended Valley Catholic High School in Beaverton, Oregon and went on to the University of Notre Dame via an athletic scholarship. She captured the NCAA Women’s Sabre title in 2006.

She was Jr. World Cup Champion three years running (2002 through 2004).

Mariel took home the gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the Individual Sabre event. Winning the gold at Athens put her place in the history books, as she became the first American to win an Olympic gold in fencing in over 100 years.

At the World Championships in 2005, in the Women’s team event, she took home her seventh world champion title. She took home the silver the following year at the World Championships.

Mariel captured the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Individual Sabre event.

Click below for more photos and video of Mariel Zagunis.

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