2020 Tokyo Olympics: Lee Kiefer Becomes First Team USA Fencer to Win Individual Gold, Still in Med School

by Joe Rutland
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American Lee Kiefer became the first Team USA fencer to win an individual gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, beating her Russian foe.

What’s even more impressive about Kiefer’s victory is that the 27-year-old is still in medical school. She won her gold in beating 2016 gold medalist Inna Deriglazova of Russia on Sunday, 15-13, according to a Yahoo! Sports article.

“I still don’t feel like it’s real,” she told “Today” after her win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “My happiness comes from the joy of my coach and my family at this point.”

Kiefer’s siblings and father are athletes to have been involved in fencing to some degree. Gerek Meinhardt, who is Kiefer’s husband, is a three-time Olympic fencer. He won the bronze medal in team foil in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Meinhardt also competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though, and lost in the Table of 32 round.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Fencer Became First Asian American Woman To Win Gold

She is a Filipina American and the first Asian American woman to win fencing gold. Kiefer also competed in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the London Olympics in 2012. She did not win a medal at either one of those Summer Games. Kiefer’s win was the third gold medal for the U.S. in Tokyo.

But her performances in Rio and London weren’t good enough for her. Kiefer then enrolled in medical school at the University of Kentucky. Taking time away from fencing helped rebuild her confidence, though. It ultimately led her to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics team.

Kiefer is the second woman in United States history to win a gold medal in fencing.

TV Ratings For Summer Games Continued Their Downward Spiral

While Team USA wins another gold medal, television ratings for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics kept on their downward trend.

NBC’s primetime coverage of Wednesday’s Olympic activity reached 11.7 million total viewers. That number is down 15 percent from previous nights of coverage.

Even the Opening Ceremony didn’t draw numbers like previous Olympic Games have for NBC and other TV networks in America. The first weekend’s primetime viewership averaged 15.8 million. Compare that to the Rio Games, where an average of 27.27 million viewers watched. Those numbers are a precipitous drop from one Olympics to this year’s Summer Games.

Will the numbers get better? Time will tell but the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have not been golden for NBC and its advertisers.

NBCUniversal is hoping that all of its advertisers realize that the Olympics aren’t over yet. Additionally, there’s still time for ratings to change their course. But time is of the essence right now. The days in Tokyo are numbered, so those advertisers definitely want to see better numbers pop.

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