Swordplay has been practised for thousands of years, and modern day fencing began as a form of military training. It did not become a sport until around the 15th century.

Olympic history
Fencing was included for the first time at the 1896 Games in Athens, and has remained on the Olympic programme since then. The women’s fencing competition entered the Games in 1924 in Paris. Today, men and women compete in individual and team events, in which three types of weapon are used: foil, epee and sabre. The foil was, at first, the only weapon used by women, until the 1996 Games in Atlanta, when women’s epee was introduced. Women’s sabre appeared for the first time on the Olympic programme in Athens in 2004.
Rules of the game
Three innovations in the 17th and 18th century led to the popularity of fencing as a sport: the “foil” – a weapon with a flattened tip; a set of rules governing the target area; and the wire-mesh mask. Together, these developments ensured the safety of fencing’s participants.

All events


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