Home News Mariel Zagunis, Amer...

Mariel Zagunis, America’s Most-Decorated Fencer, Welcomes Baby Daughter

By Gary R. Blockus | Oct. 15, 2017, 9:38 p.m. (ET)

Mariel Zagunis and her husband Mike Swehla pose with their child, Sunday Noelle Swehla.


Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for two-time Olympic saber fencing champion Mariel Zagunis.

Zagunis gave birth to a daughter – Sunday Noelle – on Friday, the first child for her and husband Mike Swehla.

“Welcome to the world, beautiful Sunday Noelle Swehla!! Our super punctual daughter arrived all natural on her due date, Friday the 13th at 7:01pm, weighing in at 7lb 6oz. So much love for this girl right here,” read Zagunis’ Facebook post on Sunday.

The 32-year-old fencer is a four-time Olympian and four-time world champion. The most decorated athlete in U.S. fencing history, she withdrew from worlds this past July because of the pregnancy. She still plans on qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The daughter of U.S. Olympic rowers Robert and Cathy Zagunis, Zagunis won three junior world championships, accomplishing the feat in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

Download the Team USA app today for breaking news, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, videos and more.

She is also the youngest fencer to win a world championship, and is the first athlete in the history of fencing to win three world championship titles in a single season (cadet, junior and junior team in 2001).

Zagunis won individual saber gold medals at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 – where women’s saber made its debut – and the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, team bronze in 2008 and team bronze in 2016.

In addition to four world titles, Zagunis has won five silves and four bronzes at worlds. Five of her 13 senior world medals are individual and eight team.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Related Athletes

head shot

Mariel Zagunis