Who is... Mariel Zagunis - WSMV News 4

Who is... Mariel Zagunis

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As one of the most decorated fencers in U.S. history, Oregon native Mariel Zagunis will make her fourth Olympic appearance at the Rio Games. After a disappointing fourth place finish in London, the 3rd world ranked sabre fencer hopes to recapture gold.

Fencing Beginnings

Zagunis started fencing when she was 10 after her brother Marten, a fencer, challenged her to a fight.


Major Competitions

She made her Olympic debut in 2004 winning back-to-back gold medals in Athens and Beijing in the women's individual sabre competition. She won individual gold at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships and has never placed out of the top ten at Worlds.


Breakout Moment

Only 19 years old, Zagunis was a last minute call up to the U.S. team in 2004. She went on to win gold, becoming the first American fencer in 100 years to earn the top spot.


Records Held

In Athens, Zagunis became the first gold medalist in the women's sabre competition which had been introduced that year. In 2008, she also became the first American fencer to win two individual gold medals.


Top Quotes

It was a very difficult, sad and frustrating time for me. But I have since used it as fuel to my fire to become a better fencer and remain hungry for gold in Rio.

Zagunis on her loss in London and how its affected her

Off the Piste

Mariel Zagunis' hobbies include cooking, playing tennis, hiking and volunteering.


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