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MAIN Arrow to Sports Sports Arrow to OlympicsSummer Olympics Arrow to Olympics Fencing Fencing

olympic fencing
2016 Olympic fencing fast facts

Venue: Olympic Training Center, Hall 3

: August 6 – August 14, 2016

Events: Epee, Team Epee, Saber, Team Saver, Foil, Team Foil

Competitors: 212

Fencing was one of only nine sports in the first modern Olympic Games of 1896. Through the years, as the Olympics have expanded, so have the number of events in the fencing arena.

Both women and men now compete for medals in foil, saber, and epee.

Foil competitions are set apart by their thrusting action, with points scored with hits to the torso. Any hits from the side off the sword are not counted.

Saber or sabre is a slightly larger sword in which competitors score with the edge of the blade, and to most spectators proves to be the more exciting, and fast-paced competition.

Epee (in French, epee means sword) is similar to the foil competition wherein a larger sword is used to thrust and score points on any part of the body.

Today, wireless electronic scoring makes for more accurate judging.

Meanwhile, the swish of metal makes the sport as exciting as days of olde. ... on guard!

Olympic fencing fun facts

First fencing requirement: Play nice.

• The first electronic scoring machine for fencing was invented in 1936 by Albert Skrobisch, an engineering student at Columbia and a future U.S. Olympian.

• Before the advent of electronic scoring machines fencers wore white (and still do) so hits could be recorded from the ink-stained cotton on the tips of their swords.

• Fencing is one of only five sports to be included in every modern Olympic Games since the first in 1896. (The other four are track & field, cycling, gymnastics, and swimming.)

• The most chivalrous of athletes, fencers must greet each other or shake hands before every bout, and a failure to do so can lead to disqualification.

More information about Olympic fencing around the Web:

International Olympic Committee - Fencing - A brief overview of its swashbuckling history plus profiles of famous fencers of the past, complete information on epee, foil and sabre events, photo gallery, glossary of terms.

BBC Olympics - Fencing - Live updates, athlete profiles, photos & video, a history of the sport and other interesting fencing trivia and factoids.

NBC Olympics - Fencing - Complete U.S. TV schedule, major news headlines and feature profiles, who to watch, fan forum.

USA Fencing Online - This is the official site of the USA Fencing Team -- with a good selection of links to information about the sport and news items for current information. You'll be in a good position to follow the Games with the USA team here.

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