Maximilien Hugo Van Haaster (Canada) and Gerek Meinhardt compete in the men's foil individual semifinal at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on Aug. 6, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
With a silver medal from the FIE World Cup on Saturday in Bonn, Germany, foil fencer Gerek Meinhardt’s big year just got even better.
A victory over reigning Olympic gold medalist Daniele Garozzo was the defining moment of the three-time Olympian’s silver-medal performance in the season-opening men’s foil world cup of the 2019-20 season.
Meinhardt defeated Garozzo 15-9 in a commanding quarterfinal showdown and then dispatched of fellow Italian and 2018 world champion Alessio Foconi 15-12 in the semis before dropping the final 15-9 to Julien Mertine of France. Alexander Massialas, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, reached the round of 32, as did fellow Americans Samuel Moelis and Nick Itkin.
Over the years, Meinhardt has gradually established himself as one of the stalwarts of the strong U.S. men’s foil team. Currently ranked fifth in the world, the Notre Dame MBA became the first U.S. man to win a senior world championships medal when he took bronze in 2010. Then he finished fourth with the U.S. men’s team at the Olympic Games London 2012 before taking the silver medal in 2016 in Rio, while finishing fifth individually.
However, 2019 has been the 29-year-old’s most impressive year yet.
Earlier this year, he helped the U.S. men’s foil team win its first world title, which preceded his first individual gold medal at the Pan American Games. He also won his second consecutive Pan Am Games team gold medal in Lima, Peru.
The biggest event of Meinhardt’s 2019, however, was his September wedding to two-time Olympic fencer Lee Kiefer, which took place in Kiefer’s hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.
“We’re so proud of each other and what we’ve been able to accomplish thus far, just pushing each other every day to try and reach for more, to become better fencers and better people, that’s so important to us,” he said at the time.