Fencing at the 2020 Olympic Games Reviewwebmaster
The most unprecedented Olympic Games in history are over
The 2020 Games are the fourth Olympic Games to be held in Japan, following the Tokyo 1964 (Summer), Sapporo 1972 (Winter), and Nagano 1998 (Winter) games. Tokyo is the first city in Asia to hold the Summer Games twice.
Delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Games were characterized by a somber opening ceremony, nearly empty stadiums, and Japanese protestors calling for the government to cancel the competition.
This is the first time in history when the Olympics have been postponed, rather than canceled.
Team USA secured the most total medals won in Tokyo, with 113 overall — 25 more than second-place China after 16 days of competition.
Other than China and the United States, the host country of Japan has secured 27 gold medals.
According to SurveyMonkey.com, almost half of Americans couldn’t name a USA athlete competing in the Olympics this year (44%). Luckily, we, fencers, are not among them!
Here are our well-known fencing Olympians!
Men’s Épée: Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald, Yeisser Ramirez
Women’s Épée: Courtney Hurley, Kelley Hurley, Kat Holmes, Anna van Brummen
Men’s Foil: Alexander Massialas, Gerek Meinhardt , Nick Itkin, Race Imboden
Women’s Foil: Lee Kiefer, Jackie Dubrovich, Nicole Ross , Sabrina Massialas
Men’s Saber: Daryl Homer, Eli Dershwitz, Andrew Mackiewicz, Khalil Thompson
Women’s Saber: Mariel Zagunis, Dagmara Wozniak, Eliza Stone, Francesca Russo.
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (now, 2021), have marked the first time both individual and team fencing competitions were held in all three weapons, épée, foil, and saber, in both men’s and women’s events.
The U.S. Olympic fencing team won four medals at Rio 2016 and returned most of those medalists for the Tokyo Games. In Rio, the U.S. won silver medals in Men’s Épée (Alexander Massialas) and Men’s Saber (Daryl Homer), as well as bronze medals in Men’s Team Foil and Women’s Team Saber.
Mixed Feelings around the 2020 Olympic Games
There were mixed feelings around athletes and activism
The American public was split on whether athletes should use the heightened profile of the Olympics to advocate for political or social justice issues: 47% approved and 49% disapproved.
Simone Biles inspires fans—and conversations about mental health
The majority of Americans (62%) said they support her decision to withdraw, including 51% who said they “strongly support” it.
Most Americans supported the Olympics’ COVID protocols
A huge majority of Americans (83%) said postponing the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo was the “right decision”.
Sha’carri Richardson’s disqualification was not so clear cut
Sha’carri Richardson was given a 30-day suspension following a positive THC test and left off the U.S. Olympic roster. By a relatively narrow margin (52% to 44%), most Americans disapproved of the decision to disqualify Richardson.
Newbie Olympic sports have a supportive fan base
Baseball, softball, surfing, skateboarding, karate, and sport climbing have been newly added to the games .
Among Americans aged 65 and above, 33% believed that surfing and skateboarding don’t belong at the Olympics, compared to 24% of people ages 35-64, and 12% ages 18-34.
American Fencing medals/results at the 2020 Olympic Games
Kiefer Earns First-Ever Olympic Title in Foil for a U.S. Fencer!
Married to men’s foil fencer Gerek Meinhardt, and ranked No. 5 in the world going into the Games, Lee Keifer makes history for US Fencing, by becoming the first U.S. foil fencer and third U.S. fencer in any weapon to win Olympic gold.
The top eight and U.S. results are as follow
Women’s Individual Foil
1. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky. / Bluegrass Fencers’ Club / Notre Dame)
2. Inna Deriglazova (ROC)
3. Larisa Korobeynikova (ROC)
3. Alice Volpi (ITA)
5. Arianna Errigo (ITA)
6. Yuka Ueno (JPN)
7. Hee Sook Jeon (KOR)
8. Kelleigh Ryan (CAN)
12. Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y. / New York Athletic Club / Columbia)
21. Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J. / Fencer’s Underground / Columbia)
Women’s Individual Épée
1. Sun Yiwen (CHN)
2. Ana Maria Popescu (ROU)
3. Katrina Lehis (EST)
4. Aizanat Murtazaeva (ROC)
5. Kourtney Hurley (USA)
Men’s Individual Épée
1. Romain Cannone (FRA)
2. Gergely Sikosi (HUN)
3. Igor Reislin (UKR)
4. Andrea Santarelli (ITA)
5. Sergey Bida (ROC)
6. Masaru Yamada (JPN)
7. Sangyoung Park (KOR)
8. Mohamed El Sayed (EGY)
24. Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y. / Peter Westbrook Foundation / St. John’s)
26. Jake Hoyle (Philadelphia, Pa. / New York Athletic Club / Columbia)
30. Yeisser Ramirez (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Peter Westbrook Foundation)
Bronze for the Men’s Foil Team!
Team USA returned to the men’s team foil podium for the second time since 1932 – winning bronze in a repeat performance from the Rio Olympic Games.
For the U.S. Men’s Foil Team, Tokyo marks the third straight Olympic Games where the squad has fenced for a medal with four Senior World Championship podium finishes in between, including gold in 2019 and silvers in 2013, 2017 and 2018.
(Tokyo) – The U.S. Women’s Foil Team ended its Olympic journey in Tokyo with a fourth-place finish on Thursday after a loss in the bronze medal final to Italy – a team that has medaled at every Games since 1988.
While the team that was formerly No. 1 in the world came away disappointed, two-time Olympian (2016, 2020) KatHolmes stressed the importance of finishing strong.
“You’re representing Team USA and not giving up is part of the testament of this being the Olympic Games,” Holmes said. “It’s not just about winning, but being that Olympic athlete. You always want to try your best and show what you can do. That’s part of it and even if you’re not winning a medal, just being the best you can be.”
Mariel Zagunis Places Fifth in Women’s Sabre
Mariel Zagunis, the most decorated U.S. Fencer of all time, ended the individual event of her fifth Olympic Games one win shy of the medal rounds, with a fifth-place result.
Zagunis is a two-time Olympic champion in the individual sabre (2004 and 2008), and the first American to win a gold medal in Olympic fencing. She was Team USA flag bearer in the 2012 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations. She has two Olympic bronze team medals in (2008 and 2016) and is a four-time Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016).
Team USA Places Sixth in Women’s Saber
“It was a hard road to get here, but none of us gave up ever and that’s what I’m proud of, me and my team, every step of this way,” Olympian Eliza Stone said.
U.S. Men’s Saber Team Finishes Eighth
Fencing in the men’s saber team event for the first time since 2012 after the event wasn’t in the Rio program, the U.S. Men’s Saber Team placed eighth in Tokyo on Wednesday.
2018 World silver medalist Eli Dershwitz, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer, Andrew Mackiewicz and Khalil Thompson
Due to injuries sustained in the previous matches to Mackiewicz and Homer, the United States withdrew from the seventh-place match to place eighth.
A local to us, Andrew Mackiewicz began fencing at the age of 8, at the saber fencing club Zeta Fencing, in Natick, MA.
A 2018 Pennsylvania State University graduate, he’s a two-time Men’s Sabre NCAA National Champion.
Few know that New England had as many as 30 Olympians at the Tokyo Games
Austin Hack, Springfield, Massachusetts (Stanford 2014)
Liam Corrigan, Old Lyme, Connecticut (Harvard 2018)
Gia Doonan, Rochester, Massachusetts (University of Austin Texas at Austin 2017)
Conor Harrity, Weston, Massachusetts (Harvard 2018)
Cicely Madden, Weston, Massachusetts (Brown 2018)
Andrew Reed, Wayland, Massachusetts (Harvard 2014)
Alexander Richards, Watertown, Massachusetts (Harvard 2018)
Regina Salmo, is a first-time Olympian from Methuen, Massachusetts (U Penn 2018)
Gevvie Stone, Newton, Massachusetts (Princeton University and Tufts University School of Medicine)
Gevvie is a two-time Olympian, she competed in the 2012 London Games, as well as the 2016 Rio Games — where she won the silver medal in the single sculls.
Kristi Wagner, Weston, Massachusetts (Yale 2015)
Anders Weiss, Barrington, Rhode Island (Brown 2016)
A second-time Olympian, Anders competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, placing 11th in the pair event.
Track And Field
Wadeline Jonathas, Worcester, Massachusetts (University of South Carolina 2020).
She helped the U.S. win gold in the women’s 4×400 relay at the world championships in Qatar in 2019.
Elle Purrier St. Pierre, Montgomery, Vermont (University of New Hampshire 2018)
Heather MacLean, Peabody, Massachusetts (UMass 2017)
Rachel Schneider, Sanford, Maine (Dover High, NH)
Molly Seidel, Boston, MA (University of Notre Dame)
Gabrielle Thomas, Northampton, Massachusetts (Harvard 2019)
Kristie Mewis, Hanson, Massachusetts (Boston College) and her sister, Samantha Mewis.
Alyssa Naeher, Stratford, Connecticut. A two-time Olympian, after the team came in fifth place in the Rio Games in 2016.
Kristi Kirshe, Franklin, Massachusetts (Williams College 2017)
Ilona Maher, Burlington, Vermont (Quinnipiac University 2018)
Michael Hixon, Amherst, Massachusetts (Indiana University 2018)
Also a two-time Olympian: in Rio 2016 he won silver in the synchronized 3-meter, and placed 10th in the individual 3-meter event.
Jessica Parratto, Dover, New Hampshire ( Indiana University 2019).
Like Hixon, she competed in the 2016 Rio Games, placing 10th in the individual 10-meter, and 7th in the synchronized 10-meter.
Eli Dershwitz, Sherborn, Massachusetts (Harvard University 2019).
Competitor in the individual and team events at both 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
Andrew Mackiewicz is a first-time Olympian from Westwood, Massachusetts. He graduated in He’ll be competing in individual and team events.
Lindi Schroeder, Andover, Massachusetts, the first Massachusetts resident to compete in synchronized swimming in over a decade.
Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Massachusetts, named USA Boxing’s Elite Female Boxer of the Year.
Stuart McNay is a three-time Olympian from Providence, Rhode Island (Yale University 2005)
Kieran Smith, Ridgefield, Connecticut (University of Florida)
The 21-year-old Olympian holds the NCAA, SEC, and the American record for the 500 freestyle swim event.
Among these, here are the ones who took home a medal:
Jayson Tatum took home the gold medal for the U.S. men’s basketball team.
He was Team USA’s second-leading scorer in the tournament, scoring 15.2 points per game coming off the bench. Tatum had 19 points in the gold medal game against France.
Sam and Kristie Mewis
The Whitman-Hanson natives and sisters helped the U.S. women’s soccer team win the bronze medal in Tokyo.
Sam Mewis scored one goal in the tournament, which came on a header in the 28th minute of the quarterfinal game against the Netherlands to tie the game at 1-1. Mewis added an assist three minutes later to give the U.S. the lead in a game that it would eventually win in penalty kicks (more on that later).
Michael Hixon took home a silver medal for the second straight Olympics. The Amherst native took won silver, along with Andrew Capobianco, in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard event, the same event he won silver in at the 2016 Olympics.
Cambridge resident Molly Seidel became an Olympic medalist after running just her third ever marathon. In the women’s event, Seidel completed the marathon in 2:27.46, good enough to win the bronze medal.
Worcester’s Doherty Memorial High School grad, Wadeline Jonathas, didn’t run in any track finals, but she helped the women’s 4×400 relay team qualify for the semifinals.
Florence resident Gabby Thomas became a two-time Olympic medalist in Tokyo.
She won the bronze medal in the women’s 200-meter sprint and three days later, she won a silver medal as part of the women’s 4×100 meter relay team.
Alyssa Naeher: The Stratford, Connecticut native played a big part in the U.S. women’s soccer team’s Olympic run, starting at goalie in five of its six games.
Kieran Smith: Ridgefield, Connecticut native Kieran Smith won the bronze medal in the men’s 400-meter freestyle in swimming. Smith also made it to the final round of the 200-meter freestyle event, finishing in sixth, and was a part of the American 4×200-meter relay team, which placed fourth.
Jessica Parratto: Dover, New Hampshire native Jessica Parratto took home the silver medal along with Delaney Schnell in the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform event in diving.
Congratulations to all medalists, participants, their coaches, and families!!
We’ll see you at the 2024 Olympic Games, in Paris, France!