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Lee Kiefer's gold medal has roots back to Lexington

Lee Kiefer wins.jpg
Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-25 18:59:16-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — There is a gold medal coming back to the Bluegrass where Lee Kiefer's roots helped lead her to history at the Tokyo Olympics.

In Lexington, she has inspired other hopefuls to make the same impact on those once in her spot.

"She'll come to practice with us, she'll fence with us," said 17-year-old Craig Upton, who belongs to the Bluegrass Fencing Club. "She's really an amazing person."

Upton goes to Dunbar High School, which is the same school Kiefer attended.

"Everyone who knows her absolutely adores her, everybody," Upton said.

Upton and his mother, Jennifer, are in Salt Lake City for a fencing tournament this weekend. That hasn't stopped them from being superfans and keeping up with her in Tokyo.

"We all stayed up pretty late watching her first two bouts," he said. "I had to got to bed I had to fence in the morning but waking up to her winning the medal is pretty good news," he said.

So Sunday, Upton caught up on watching Kiefer's winning moment -- trying to improve his art from watching one of the best in the world.

"I honestly hope so much that people out there will see this and will want to come try the sport and join us," Upton said.

Many might even be surprised at how accessible this training really is. It certainly was for the Upton's when Craig was first interested.

"It just didn't really occur to us that we had an Olympic level coach right here in town with a club that's like three miles from our house," Jennifer said.

If you are interested, you already have someone to take you under his wing.

"Anybody who wants to try it, anybody who can get over there, come on," Craig said. "We'll welcome you."

Kiefer is currently a medical student at the University of Kentucky. Her husband is also representing the USA in fencing.