As far back as medieval times, people have used sword fighting
to settle disputes and conflicts. But over the last century, sword
fighters, known as fencers, have used their sword-swinging skills
not to settle conflicts, but to engage in spirited competition with
hopes of earning an Olympic medal. During competition, fencers
compete in one-on-one combat, with each fencer trying to receive
points for touching his or her opponent with the sword, while
avoiding being hit. Fencers use three types of swords in the
various competitions: a foil, an epie and a saber. For protection,
participants wear a vest and jacket, a glove and a mask. They also
wear breeches and special fencing shoes. For more information about
fencing, visit www.athens2004.com/en/Fencing.
-Fencing is one of only four sports that have been featured in
every modern Olympics since 1896.
-Fencing evolved from an ancient form of combat.
-234 fencers participated in the 2004 Olympics
– On Tuesday, Oregon resident Mariel Zagunis won the gold medal
in the saber competition. This was the first time since 1904 that
the United States won a gold medal in fencing.