From Olympic rings to wedding rings, U.S. foil fencers Lee Kiefer and Gerek Meinhardt made their union official when they married in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday evening.
The couple first announced their engagement on social media on New Year’s Day 2018.
The ceremony and reception were held at the Keene Barn at Keeneland.
The wedding party included Kiefer’s teammate Sabrina Massialas, a 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist, as well as Meinhardt’s teammates Miles Chamley-Watson, a two-time Olympian, and David Willette, a former junior world medalist.
The wedding guests were a who’s who of the U.S. fencing community, several of whom were referring to the event as the “Royal Fencing Wedding” on social media. Among the guests were all three of Meinhardt’s Olympic bronze-medal teammates: Chamley-Watson, two-time Olympian Race Imboden (there with girlfriend Ysaora Thibus, a seven-time world medalist for France) and two-time Olympic medalist Alexander Massialas, Sabrina’s brother.
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Also attending was world No. 2 saber fencer Eli Dershwitz, Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer, 2018 Youth Olympic medalist Kenji Bravo, and Kiefer’s world medalist teammates Nicole Ross, Nzingha Prescod and Jackie Dubrovich. The official Instagram hashtag for the wedding was #kieferstolemeinhardt.
Kiefer is a two-time Olympian who most recently became the only fencer in history to win three individual gold medals at the Pan American Games. She was fifth individually at the Olympic Games London 2012 and 10th at the Olympic Games Rio 2016; Kiefer also earned individual world silver in 2011. The women’s team won its third world championships medal in a row this summer, which included a program-first gold in 2018, and closed out the season with a Pan Am gold medal in Lima, Peru.
Meinhardt is a three-time Olympian who was part of the bronze-medal team in Rio. He took fifth individually in 2016, was fourth in 2012 and 10th in 2008, and, like his new wife, also won the individual gold medal at the 2019 Pan Am Games. In 2010 he became the first U.S. man to win a senior world medal and five years later became the first to own two.
Both Kiefer and Meinhardt are graduates of Notre Dame. They have been a couple for eight years and often train against one another and coach one another at tournaments.
“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,” Meinhardt told TeamUSA.org after his win in Lima.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.