Mariel Zagunis – Olympic Gold Medal Winner From Portland Oregon
By PDX People
Born in Portland Oregon in 1985, Mariel Zagunis fell in love with fencing at the age of 10 after her brother who was a fencer at the time challenged her to a fight. Over the years, she quickly became a well-known fencer in the Pacific Northwest, and around the United States, leading to her last-minute call up at the age of 19 to the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.
Most Decorated Fencer in U.S. History
Thanks to her work with the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, Zagunas would be the first American Fencer in over 100 years to win the gold medal, propelling her to recognition around the world as one of the leading names in the world of fencing.
Zagunis is a Valley Catholic High School graduate and previously earned an individual saber gold in Athens and an individual gold and team bronze medal four years later in Beijing. She was a flag bearer for the U.S. at the London Olympics but did not medal in 2012.
World Wide Acclaim For Mariel Zagunis
Following her win in the 2004 Olympic Games, Mariel Zagunis went on to win gold at the 2009 and 2010 world championship but she suffered defeat at the 2012 London Olympics, finishing fourth place, and she made a strong showing during the 2016 Rio Olympics but the team would go on to take a Bronze medal with Zagunis falling short in the individual medal competition.
Will Mariel Zagunis compete in the Olympics again? As one of the most decorated U.S. Olympic fencers she literally has nothing left to prove, and at the age of 31 she’s most likely eager to start a family after getting married in 2013 but her competitive spirt could bring her back to the Olympics in the future.