1.3 Is fencing going to be eliminated from the Olympics?
Although fencing is one of only four sports to have been
involved in every modern Olympic Games since their inception
in 1896, it has been mentioned as one of the disciplines
that will be eliminated from the Games following Atlanta 1996.
According to Gilbert Felli, Sports Director of the International
Olympic Committee, the IOC plans to refine future games in
various ways, including:
-- limiting the number of athletes to 15000
-- increasing participation by women
-- eliminating "so-called artificial team events"
-- limiting sports of a similar type
-- modernizing the Olympic program
-- encouraging sports that provide a good television spectacle
Fencing is currently undergoing serious revisions to its rules
and structure to improve its value as a (televised?) spectator
sport, perhaps in the hopes of retaining its Olympic status.
Lobby efforts to save fencing's Olympic status have been underway
for at least a year. Olympic fencing is safe through 1996, and
has even been expanded to include women's epee for the first
time. The status of Olympic fencing for the 2000 games should be
determined by now, but news has not yet reached the author.