Jul 25, 2012 4:43 PM by Alan Cutler
Lee Kiefer has to miss what is a great thrill for any athlete. She isn't allowed to participate in the opening ceremonies for the Olympics because she is competing the next day.
The Lexington fencer who graduated Dunbar High and will be attending Notre Dame this fall has been driven to be the best for along time.
"It's a lot of work and a lot of time and it's tiring, but it's rewarding because it's fun doing the sport physically and mentally and then you have opportunities that build from it, like traveling and meeting new people and getting a scholarship to college, so that's a plus," says Kiefer.
Fencing takes this 18 year old all over the world. She is our number one fencer and number five in the world.
How many times do you see a story about an athlete and they say I love it the first time I tried it. For Lee, it was not love at first site.
"It was horrible. The equipment for a seven year old is very heavy. I couldn't hold my bag and walk up the stairs, so luckily my Dad was there."
Lee didn't always think it was so lucky her Dad, in this a family of either doctors, or future doctors was there. Tears, anger, and frustration were part of dealing with her Dad, a champion fencer.
"Of course there are still times where we think it's horrible, but we now we just make ourselves keep going."
Mom often had to keep the peace between Dad and their three fencing kids. There are many Olympic athletes who get pushed too hard. Some crack. Some make it.
Whatever that certain something is that you look for in athletes, she has it. Lee loves to compete both as an athlete and in the classroom.
"I got a B-plus one semester when I was a sophomore year, I was pretty upset and I almost cried."
As far as her style, she's aggressive.
"I really like to attack people. I'm more of an offensive fencer. It's more exciting that way."
Last October, Lee become the first US women's foil fencer to earn a Senior World medal since 1999. She will compete against some who have been fencing on a big stage longer than she's been alive. If 2012 isn't here year, it could be 2016.