En Garde! We Seem to Be Getting the Point of Fencing

Wielding saber, épée or foil, enthusiasts in increasing numbers are discovering a sport that demands skill, strength – and strategy

Final of the Challenge Réseau Ferré de France–Trophée Monal 2012, épée world cup tournament in Paris (Wikimedia Commons)
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The aristocrat's sport appears to be catching on: fencing clubs are popping up around the country. Author Richard Wolkomir travels to the epicenter of fencing in this country – New York City – to visit the gymnasium of the renowned New York Fencers Club.

There, Peter Westbrook, who won America's sole Olympic fencing medal since 1960, a bronze in 1984, and his colleague, expert fencer Eric Rosenberg, are training the next generation of fencers. Through the auspices of the Peter Westbrook Foundation, youngsters are also studying under legendary coaches from Eastern Europe– such as Columbia University's Aladar Kolger, from Hungary – who, with the collapse of Communism, have been immigrating here. For the first time, aspiring U.S. fencers may be entering the ranks of topflight competitors.

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