VCS Campus Cheers on Olympic Bound Mariel Zagunis ’03
Submitted by SSMO Foundation Associate Grace Le Chevallier
On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, almost two months from the start of the London Olympics, Mariel Zagunis ’03 took a detour on her road to London to visit her alma mater. Colors of the American flag were everywhere as 1,000 students filled the gym wearing red, white and blue. Sounds of applause and Olympic fanfare filled the gym as Mariel Zagunis was welcomed warmly back to campus.
Zagunis answered questions by a panel of five people consisting of current students, fellow fencers, her former teachers and a former classmate/locker partner. She spoke about hard work, determination, the Olympics and her future. Zagunis, a two-time gold medalist in women’s saber fencing, noted that when you are at the top of your game, there are more and more people who want nothing more than to beat you. She said to the crowd of supporters, “It’s important to surround yourself with a community that supports and encourages you. I’ve always had that at Valley Catholic.”
Zagunis sparked laughter with students as she schooled Mr. Dale French, Dean of Students at the High School, in the basics of saber fencing. Mr. French displayed his athletic skills and even surprised the world champion by scoring a few points of his own.
Thank you for joining us for the day, Mariel! While the high school Student Body Officers were unable to organize the traditional “rooter bus” overseas, they pledged their commitment to keeping an eye on her during this summer’s Olympic games that begin in late July. We will be cheering for you in London!