An Oregonian, Mariel Zagunis of Beaverton, became a two-time gold medalist as she defended her Athens gold with a victory in the women's fencing competition in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Zagunis led an impressive U.S. sweep of the event as Sada Jacobson took the silver and Zagunis' Portland teammate and saber World Champion Rebecca Ward earned the bronze medal. The three medals were the very first won by Team USA in the Beijing 2008 Games.
I watched as Mariel stood proudly on the podium and listened to they playing of "The Star Spangled Banner' as tears rolled down her face. I could see President Bush in the Awards stadium behind her and found it actually quite touching that he handed her his own handerchief afterwards. She stared at it, stared at him, stared at it...then finally took it.
I'm sure she probably thought at that point, that she was hearing things, seeing things, and winning things. She was. What was awesome was that the U.S. also took the bronze and the silver. I'm a sucker for sentimentality. When the National Anthemn plays, I actually get a bit of a choke in my throat. But then I cry when little kids (I don't even know) win races at Bush Pasture Park in Salem.
It doesn't take much to touch my heartstrings! And so, you ask? How is she tying in the Olympics, fencing and a quilting blog?