Aug 242004
Authors: Bob Fernandez

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

Quick Facts:

-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.

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