By Paul D. Bowker | April 28, 2016, 2:19 p.m. (ET)
Lee Kiefer (R) competes against Arianna Errigo of Italy at the Havana Grand Prix on March 12, 2016 in Havana, Cuba.


The 14-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team already has a two-time Olympic champion on its roster and a top-ranked men’s foil fencer who is the son of a three-time Olympian.

U.S. fencers are expected to be medal contenders in all three disciplines in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games: foil, epee and saber.

In addition to individual competition, the United States will be going after podium finishes in the team competition in women’s epee, women’s saber and men’s foil.

Mariel Zagunis, a three-time Olympic medalist and two-time champion in women’s saber, is the most decorated fencer in U.S. Olympic history. Two others will be in their third Olympic Games: Kelley Hurley in women’s epee and Gerek Meinhardt in men’s foil.

History will be made when Ibtihaj Muhammad competes in women’s saber. She’ll make her Olympic debut at age 30 and will be the first woman in U.S. history to compete in the Olympic Games wearing a hijab.

All three fencers on the men’s foil team have been ranked number one or two in the world rankings, including the current number one, Alexander Massialas, who is coached by his father, Greg, a three-time Olympian. Also on that squad are Meinhardt and Miles Chamley-Watson, the first U.S. man to win a senior world title. Massialas and Meinhardt finished one-two in the 2015 Pan American Games.

Here’s a closer look at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team:

Miles Chamley-Watson
Discipline: Men’s foil
Hometown: New York City
Age: 26
Olympic Experience: A native of London, Chamley-Watson returned there in 2012 for his Olympic debut.
Journey to Rio: Ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 2012, he has won two Pan American Games team gold medals, an individual world title and a team silver medal in the world championships.
Quick Fact: Chamley-Watson became the first U.S. man to win an individual world championship in fencing in 2013.

Eli Dershwitz
Discipline: Men’s saber
Hometown: Sherborn, Massachusetts
Age: 20
Olympic Experience: He’ll make his Olympic debut in Rio.
Journey to Rio: He qualified for the Olympic Games after winning his first grand prix medal in March, a gold, in Seoul. In 2015, Dershwitz won gold medals in both the junior world championships and Pan American Games. He helped the U.S. men’s saber team win a gold medal in the Warsaw world cup in February and attain a No. 1 world ranking.
Quick Fact: He has a twin sister, Sally, who doesn’t fence.

Katharine Holmes
Discipline: Women’s epee
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Age: 22
Olympic Experience: She’ll make her Olympic debut in Rio.
Journey to Rio: A fencer for Team USA at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and a three-time member of the U.S. women’s epee world championships team, Holmes grabbed the third spot on the Olympic team behind sisters Kelley and Courtney Hurley. She has won three individual medals and three team medals in the Pan American Championships.
Quick Fact: In 2008, she was a finalist for the Sports Illustrated Kid of the Year award.

Daryl Homer
Discipline: Men’s saber
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Age: 25
Olympic Experience: Homer made his Olympic debut in 2012 in London, finishing sixth in the individual men’s saber and eighth in the team competition.
Journey to Rio: Ranked among the world’s top 14, Homer officially locked down his Olympic berth in February. In 2015 he became the first U.S. man to win a saber medal in the senior world championships, capturing silver. He also helped the United States win a team gold medal in the 2015 Pan American Games.
Quick Fact: Homer first jumped into fencing at age 5 when he read about the sport in a dictionary and asked his mom if he could try the sport.

Courtney Hurley
Discipline: Women’s epee
Hometown: Houston
Age: 25
Olympic Experience: She made her Olympic debut in 2012 and helped Team USA win a bronze medal. She finished 22nd in the individual competition.
Journey to Rio: She is ranked No. 1 in the United States and 20th in the world in women’s epee. Hurley has won a combined six gold medals (individual and team) in the last four Pan American Championships.
Quick Fact: Courtney and her sister, Kelley, were one of nine pairs of U.S. siblings to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Kelley Hurley
Discipline: Women’s epee
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Age: 27
Olympic Experience: Kelley is on her third Olympic team, after competing individually in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and in the team competition in 2012 in London. She helped the women’s epee team win its first Olympic medal, a bronze, in London.
Journey to Rio: Hurley qualified for the Rio Games with her second-place finish in the U.S. rankings behind her younger sister, Courtney. Kelley won a bronze medal in a grand prix tournament in Rio to help accumulate points. A strong 2015 season included a fifth consecutive team gold medal in the Pan American Championships, and a silver medal in the individual competition.
Quick Fact: Rio will mark the first time in the Olympic Games that Kelley and Courtney Hurley will compete with each other in the team event and also against each other in the individual competition.

Lee Kiefer
Discipline: Women’s foil
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Age: 21
Olympic Experience: Kiefer placed fifth in the individual competition, and sixth in the team, when she made her Olympic debut in the 2012 Games.
Journey to Rio: A silver medal in the La Havane Grand Prix helped Kiefer obtain a No. 6 world ranking (tops in the United States) and her second Olympic team berth. She won gold medals in both the individual and team competitions in the 2015 Pan American Games.
Quick Fact: Kiefer was the youngest member of the 2009 world championship team at age 15.

Alexander Massialas
Discipline: Men’s foil
Hometown: San Francisco
Age: 22
Olympic Experience: He made his Olympic debut in 2012 as the youngest man on the U.S. Olympic team. Massialas finished 13th in the individual competition and fourth in team. Two years before the London Games, Massialas won a silver medal in the Youth Olympic Games.
Journey to Rio: Massialas rose to a No. 1 world ranking earlier this year. He qualified for Rio at a tournament in February in Bonn, Germany. He won individual and team gold medals in the 2015 Pan American Games and a silver medal in the 2015 world championships.
Quick Fact: Alexander is coached by his dad, Greg, a three-time U.S. Olympic fencer and the men’s foil Olympic coach.

Gerek Meinhardt
Discipline: Men’s foil
Hometown: San Francisco
Age: 25
Olympic Experience: He’ll compete in his third Olympic Games in Rio. Meinhardt was the youngest Olympic fencer in U.S. history when he made his debut at age 18 in Beijing in 2008.
Journey to Rio: Meinhardt’s road to his third Olympic Games included a No. 1 world ranking in 2014. He was the first U.S. men’s foil fencer to achieve the top ranking, and he was the first to win a world championship medal when he won a bronze medal in 2010. He won another bronze medal at the 2015 world championships and added a silver medal, behind teammate Alexander Massialas’ gold, in the 2015 Pan American Games.
Quick Fact: In the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Meinhardt was the youngest man on the entire U.S. Olympic Team.

Ibtihaj Muhammad
Discipline: Women’s saber
Hometown: Maplewood, New Jersey
Age: 30
Olympic Experience: She’ll make her Olympic debut in Rio, where she will be the first U.S. athlete to compete in the Games wearing a hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women.
Journey to Rio: Muhammad won bronze medals in two of the first three world cup events this season, helping secure a spot on her first U.S. Olympic team. A hand injury in 2012 kept her from qualifying for the London Games. She’ll compete in both the individual and team competitions in Rio.
Quick Fact: She owns her own fashion brand — Louella by Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Nzingha Prescod
Discipline: Women’s foil
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Age: 23
Olympic Experience: She’ll compete in her second Olympic Games in Rio. Prescod helped the women’s foil team to a sixth-place finish in the London Games and finished 22nd individually.
Journey to Rio: Prescod’s road to a second Olympic team began with a grand prix title in 2013 in Marseille, France. That victory was the first by a U.S. women’s foil fencer in a grand prix tournament. She achieved a No. 7 world ranking in 2016, right behind two-time Olympic teammate Lee Kiefer.
Quick Fact: Prescod became the first African-American woman to win a world championships medal when she won a bronze medal in 2015.

Jason Pryor
Discipline: Men’s epee
Hometown: South Euclid, Ohio
Age: 28
Olympic Experience: Pryor will make his Olympic debut in Rio as the only U.S. fencer in the men’s epee competition.
Journey to Rio: A victory over the world’s top-ranked fencer in men’s epee, Gauthier Grumier of France, at a grand prix helped Pryor secure the No. 1 ranking in the Americas zone and an Olympic berth. He won an individual bronze medal and a team silver medal in the 2015 Pan American Games.
Quick Fact: One of Pryor’s hobbies is screenwriting.

Dagmara Wozniak
Discipline: Women’s saber
Hometown: Avenel, New Jersey
Age: 27
Olympic Experience: Wozniak made her Olympic debut in 2012, finishing eighth in the individual competition. She was also a replacement athlete in the 2008 Games for the team event, but was not called to action. In Rio, she’ll compete individually and with the team.
Journey to Rio: A strong 2015 season helped put Wozniak in position to claim the third spot on the women’s saber Olympic team in 2016. She won eight medals in 2015, including individual and team gold in the 2015 Pan American Games.
Quick Fact: Born in Wroclaw, Poland, Wozniak moved to the United States with her family when she was 1. She began fencing at age 9.

Mariel Zagunis
Discipline: Women’s saber
Hometown: Beaverton, Oregon
Age: 31
Olympic Experience: Zagunis, a three-time Olympic medalist, will be on her fourth U.S. Olympic team in Rio. She won individual gold medals in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing, and a team bronze medal in 2008. She missed an individual medal in London by just one spot, though she was chosen by her peers as Team USA’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer that year.
Journey to Rio: A win in a world cup tournament in Athens earlier this year was the cherry on top of Zagunis’ No. 1 U.S. ranking and qualified her for the Rio Games. She is the most decorated fencer in U.S. history, and has won 13 world championship medals.
Quick Fact: Zagunis is the daughter of Olympic rowers Catherine and Robert Zagunis, both of whom competed at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games.
Bonus Fact: In 2004, Zagunis only qualified for the U.S. Olympic team when an athlete from Nigeria chose not to go. When given the opportunity to compete, Zagunis ended up becoming the first U.S. fencer to claim an Olympic gold medal in 100 years. Her gold medal was also the first awarded in Olympic women’s saber fencing.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1990. He is Olympics editor and Assistant Sports Editor at the Cape Cod Times in Massachusetts. Bowker has written for TeamUSA.org since 2010 as a freelance contributor on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.