Lauren Scruggs of Harvard University celebrates after winning the womens Foil semifinals bout during the Division I Mens and Womens Fencing Championships held at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 26, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina. | Photo by Scott Taetsch/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Name: Lauren Scruggs
Country: USA
Sport: Fencing, foil
Previous Olympic experience: None
Social Media: Instagram

Who is Lauren Scruggs?

Lauren Scruggs is competing in the fencing category of foil for Team USA as part of Team LGBTQ.

So how does she describe her Olympic fencing event of foil?

“It’s kind of like, if you’ve watched the ‘Princess Bride,’ the fighting scenes form that movie,” she recently told Outsports. “And Zorro. You’re trying to poke the other person.”

She is Iniga Montoya and the masked man all at the same time. Sans gymnastics high-bar maneuver.

When Outsports recently Scruggs her at her training facility in New York City, she harkened back to her first years in the sport. Her older brother had taken up fencing in the New York area. At age 6, she wanted to follow his lead.

“I just did what he did,” Scruggs remembered. “It was purely being a little sibling.”

Now a successful fencer at Harvard, her coach has said that she seems so effortless as she competes.

“I’m a pretty calm and relaxed person,” Scruggs said. “If I’m stressed, I don’t show it. I win a lot of bouts, but my demeanor when I fence, I deal with stressful situations well.”

She has not been shy about sharing images of herself and her girlfriend, Chelsea, on social media. The two met a couple years ago through a mutual friend and dorm-mate at Harvard.

“It’s been almost three years,” Scruggs said. “She’s been very supportive of my fencing career. She can’t travel to my bouts most of the time, but when she’s able to she goes. She’s been a huge help for my Olympic journey.”

Outsports believes Scruggs is the first publicly out Black lesbian to compete in fencing at the Olympic Games.

Interestingly, when you search for “Lauren Scruggs” on Google or social media, a popular fashion blogger — Lauren Scruggs-Kennedy — may dominate the search results.

Lauren Scruggs at the Paris Olympics

Scruggs enters the Paris Summer Olympics with a very good pedigree. She was the 2023 NCAA women’s champion in foil, and she was the NCAA runner-up in 2024. She was part of Harvard’s NCAA Championship team this year, the first in nearly 20 years for the Ivy League school.

She has been a world champion, both as an individual and as part of Team USA, multiple times at other levels of the sport.

Now she will represent Team USA at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, as both an individual and team member.