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Fencing at the 2004 Athina Summer Games

2004 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Athina, Greece
Date Started: August 14, 2004
Date Finished: August 14, 2004
Events: 10

Participants: 223 (129 men and 94 women) from 42 countries
Youngest Participant: BRA Élora Pattaro (18 years, 183 days)
Oldest Participant: ALG Zahra Gamir (38 years, 120 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 5 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): ITA Italy (7 medals)


Ten events were contested at Athens, the same number as in Sydney, but the introduction of the women’s individual sabre necessitated the introduction of a rotation system for team events. The two classes to miss out in 2004 were the women’s sabre and the women’s foil. Although the traditional superpowers of France and Italy were again the most successful nations with three gold medals each, the anthems of 6 different countries were heard in Athens.

Switzerland produced an Olympic champion for the first time whilst the US won gold for the first time in a century. [Marcel Fischer] won the men’s epee for the Swiss team and American [Mariel Zagunis] was women’s sabre champion. Both nations had been competing in the sport at Olympic level since the first day of fencing competition at the Paris Games of 1900 and, by odd coincidence, Fischer and Zagunis both won their gold medals on the 17th of August.

Zagunis’s triumph was arguably one of the fairy tale stories of the entire Games. The daughter of two Olympic rowers, the teenager originally missed out on qualification by a single world ranking place but when Nigeria opted not to send their prospective entrant she was belatedly called up to the US team. Suffice to say she made the utmost of her opportunity.

There were no multiple gold medallists in Athens with the most successful fencer being [Aldo Montano], a third generation Olympic medallist, with individual gold and team silver at sabre.