Mariel Zagunis, a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning fencer, has been selected to carry the United States flag during the Opening Ceremony on Friday.
Zagunis was a student-athlete at Notre Dame and fenced on the varsity level for two seasons (2005-06). She won the NCAA individual championship title in 2006 and was a member of the team championship in 2005.
On Wednesday she tweeted “I AM GOING TO BE THE FLAG BEARER FOR THE UNITED STATES IN THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES!! I am speechless, excited, proud beyond belief to represent my country and my sport with this amazing honor!!”
According to her U.S. Fencing bio, Zagunis made history at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, becoming the first U.S. fencer in 100 years to win an Olympic gold medal. She also was the first Olympic gold medalist for women’s saber, which made its Olympic debut at the 2004 Games.
Zagunis’ Olympic accomplishment was all the more impressive considering that she originally was a replacement athlete for the 2004 U.S. team.
Zagunis won two medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She took home her second consecutive gold medal in the Individual Sabre event and helped lead the women’s team to a bronze medal in the Team Sabre event.