Announcer Andy Taylor. Voice of the 2022 US Open

FENCING, PARIS 2024. A NEW ROLE AT THE SUMMER GAMES

PARIS 2024 marks announcer Andy Taylor’s fourth Summer Games. 20-years-ago, he made his debut in tennis, during the Games’ centennial anniversary in Athens. He was also the English-language voice of tennis in Rio and Tokyo.

A veteran voice actor and stadium announcer, many recognize Andy as the Voice of the US Open, but his hosting experience in sport goes far beyond tennis. He also emcees international events for squash and padel, and has done extensive voice work for a broad range of sports worldwide – including basketball, hockey, taekwondo, even Myanmar’s ancient martial art of lethwei.

FENCING is one of the ten original sports featured at the Summer Games. FRANCE is one of the most accomplished nations. Andy couldn’t be more excited to join the diverse, international team of professionals elevating the atmosphere during 9-days of thrilling competition in the iconic Grand Palais.

FOIL | FLEXIBLE SWORD. TIP SCORING, SPECIFIC TARGET AREA

DEFINED. In FOIL, athletes earn points by making contact with the tip of the weapon on their opponent’s lamé. Foil’s lamé (target area vest with electronic sensors) includes only the torso and groin. The head, arms and legs are off-target.

TOKYO 2020. Gold medalists: USA Lee Kiefer (indv-women), HKG Cheung Ka Long (indv-men), ROC (team-women), FRA France (team-men).

MEN. France is the leading foil nation with 9 individual and 8 team gold medals. Christian D’Oriola, who won individual gold in 1952 and 1956, remains one of only two men in history to win two individual foil gold medals. The other is legendary Italian Nedo Nadi, who remains the only fencer to win Olympic Gold in all three disciplines at the same Games. Remarkably, in 1920 Nedo won 5 gold medals (2 individual, 3 team). Individual épée was the only event where he failed to medal.

WOMEN. Italy is the leading foil nation with 7 individual and 4 team gold medals. Italian Valentina Vezzali remains the greatest women’s foil champion of all time. Nicknamed “Cobra,” she dominated foil at the turn of the millennium, winning three consecutive individual gold medals in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. With silver in Atlanta and bronze in London, she is one of only five athletes in Summer Games history to win five medals in the same individual event. In all, she’s a 9-time medalist including 3 team gold medals.

FOIL SCHEDULE.

28 JUL | Paris 2024. Foil Individual Women
29 JUL | Paris 2024. Foil Individual Men
01 AUG | Paris 2024. Foil Team Women
04 AUG | Paris 2024. Foil Team Men

ÉPÉE | STIFF SWORD. TIP SCORING, ENTIRE BODY TARGET AREA

DEFINED. Épée is the largest and heaviest of the three fencing weapons. Like in foil, points are only scored by making contact with the tip. However, rather than using a lamé, the target area includes the opponent’s entire body.

TOKYO 2020. Gold medalists: CHN Sun Yiwen (indv-women), FRA Romain Cannone (indv-men), EST Estonia (team-women), JPN Japan (team-men).

MEN. France leads the épée medal count with 40 overall – however, France and Italy are neck-and-neck when it comes to gold. Each has topped the podium 15-times, though Italy leads individual gold with 7 to France’s 6. Both nations have swept individual épée medals in the same year twice (winning gold, silver, bronze). Other than Cuba’s Ramon Fonst, who captured the first two épée individual gold medals in 1900 and 1904, no other man has won individual gold more than once. In Tokyo, Romain Cannone became the first French individual épée gold medalist since 1992.

WOMEN. Before 1996, foil was the only women’s fencing event at the Summer Games. In Atlanta, French fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic starred in épée’s debut, winning both individual and team gold. In fact, she remains the only female épée talent to accomplish the feat. Over the past 7 Games – Hungary, France, ROC and China have become the go-to épée medaling nations. Hungary is the only nation to win multiple individual épée gold medals (3), while ROC remains the only team to top the team podium twice. Hungary’s Timea Nagy stands alone as the only talent who has won 2 individual gold medals (2000, 2004).

ÉPÉE SCHEDULE.

27 JUL | Paris 2024. Épée Individual Women
28 JUL | Paris 2024. Épée Individual Men
30 JUL | Paris 2024. Épée Team Women
02 AUG | Paris 2024. Épée Team Men

SABRE | SHORT SWORD. BLADE SCORING, SPECIFIC TARGET AREA

DEFINED. Sabre is the shortest of fencing’s three weapons. Instead of tip-scoring, points are earned by making contact with the entire blade of the sword on an opponent’s lamé. Sabre’s lamé target area includes the entire torso above the waist, along with the head and arms above the wrists. Legs, hands and feet are off-target.

TOKYO 2020. Gold medalists: ROC Sofia Pozdniakova (indv-women), HUN Aron Szilagyi (indv-men), ROC (team-women), KOR South Korea (team-men).

MEN. Hungary dominates sabre with a total of 15 individual and 10 team gold medals. No other nation comes close. Reigning and 3-time individual sabre gold medalist Aron Szilagyi has solidified his status as one of the sport’s greatest champions. Since 1896, only four other talents have won 2 individual gold medals. Aron is the only one who’s topped the podium three times. He joins Hungarian legends like Rudolf Karpati (2 individual gold, 4 team gold), Jeno Fuchs (2 individual gold, 2 team gold), Aladar Gerevich (9 overall medals including 1 individual gold and 6 team gold), and Pal Kovacs (7 overall medals including 1 individual gold and 5 team gold). That said, keep an eye on the South Koreans who have won the last two team gold medals.

WOMEN. Sabre first appeared on the women’s calendar in 2004. The Summer Games have hosted 5 individual events and 3 team events. Leading nations include ROC, the United States and Ukraine. Overall, ROC owns 4 gold medals (2 individual and 2 team). Meanwhile, Team USA’s Mariel Zagunis won the first two individual sabre gold medals. In fact, the United States swept the individual medals in 2008 (gold, silver, bronze). Other top sabre names include ROC’s Sofiya Velikaya, who won three consecutive individual silver medals in London, Rio and Tokyo — and reigning individual/team gold medalist Sofia Pozdniakova, who’s father is president of the ROC and won both individual and team gold at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

SABRE SCHEDULE.

27 JUL | Paris 2024. Sabre Individual Men
29 JUL | Paris 2024. Sabre Individual Women
31 JUL | Paris 2024. Sabre Team Men
03 AUG | Paris 2024. Sabre Team Women