Amanda Gray | Summer 2017
The day Lee Kiefer ’17 committed to fencing at Notre Dame, head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia asked her at least four times if she was certain in her choice.
“She said, ‘I’m coming to Notre Dame.’ And I said, ‘Are you sure about that?’” Kvaratskhelia recalls, chuckling. “She said, ‘Yes, I’m coming.’ I said, ‘So you’re coming to Notre Dame.’”
Lee Kiefer celebrates after clinching her fourth individual national title and leading Notre Dame to its ninth team championship, photo by Mark Lebryk / Walt Middleton Photography 2017.
“Yes, I’m coming to Notre Dame.”
“So that means this fall you’re coming to Notre Dame?”
It’s hard to overstate just how good a fencer Kiefer is. The Versailles, Kentucky, native has excelled at every level of the sport, competing at two Olympic Games, winning four NCAA individual championships in her weapon — foil — and leading the Notre Dame fencing program to its ninth NCAA team championship in March.
She became the No. 1 women’s foil fencer in the world in March — an honor never before held by an American. She clinched a gold medal in April at the Reinhold-Würth Cup in Germany, her first competition since reaching the No. 1 spot.