Is fencing going to be eliminated from the Olympics?
According to Gilbert Felli, Sports Director of the International
Olympic Committee, the IOC plans to refine future games by:
-- limiting the number of athletes to 15000
-- limiting officials to half the number of athletes
-- increasing participation by women
-- eliminating "so-called artificial team events"
-- eliminating mixed events except in equestrian sports
-- reducing the chance of an athlete taking part in several finals
-- reducing the number of weight classes in sports that use them
-- limiting sports of a similar type
-- modernizing the Olympic program
-- encouraging sports that provide a good television spectacle
Rumours have circulated that "elitist" events (equestrian events,
pentathlon, sailing, and fencing [!] have been given as examples)
were being considered for elimination, but these are unconfirmed.
Of more immediate concern are the future of team fencing events,
and possible changes to the sport to make it more telegenic.
Fencing doesn't appear to be in immediate danger. Not only is it on
the Atlanta 1996 Games schedule, it has been expanded to include
Women's Epee for the first time. Given the emphasis on new women's
sports, Women's Sabre may be a future expansion to the Olympic sport.
Link to the next chapter: Does it hurt?