BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Beaverton’s Mariel Zagunis made a recent visit to her alma matter, Valley Catholic High School to get pumped up before her next trip to the Olympics.
Zagunis graduated from Valley Catholic in 2003. The following year she became the first U.S. Fencer in 100 years to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Four years later she claimed Gold again. Now, she has her sights set on a third Gold Medal this summer in London.
This past week, Mariel was back at Valley Catholic for an assembly and nearly 1,000 students, kindergarten through high school, were amped up to show support for Mariel.
“USA, USA, USA!”, shouted the students, which inspired Zagunis.
“It was so exciting,” said Mariel, “I loved coming back to campus and to have an entire assembly, with all these kids, super pumped about USA and the Olympics and wishing me good luck. It was awesome.”
Zagunis also put on a fencing demonstration, spoke to the students and staff and signed autographs.
“First and foremost it's hard to believe that I graduated here almost 10 years ago, that's weird,” she said, adding, “When I was a senior, I was on the verge of winning my first gold medal so it is strange to think how much I've done since I graduated here."
Zagunis has been globe-trotting the past few months training here and competing overseas and once again she is ranked number one in the world in women’s sabre fencing.
“Yeah I'm feeling pretty good,” said Mariel, “I actually just got back from China and I won the tournament over there. We have three more international competitions to go until I actually leave for London, so there's still a lot to do but I'm feeling good. I feel like I'm on track and things like this help because it gets me even more pumped up.”