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Why fencing is the most thrilling Olympic event you will watch

It is not just about sword jabs and agility, the entire event is a spectacular evolution of sword fighting and combat sports.

Fencing Sport

Fencing at the Rio Olympics


C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 2021-07-14T11:39:55+05:30

The sport as such has never been excluded from the Olympics since 1896. Its prestige contributes equally in enhancing why it is one of the most sought after events for viewing at the Olympics. Fencing has truly captivated the minds of athletes across the world and we take a look at why it is one of the most exciting events that you will watch at the Tokyo Olympics this month.

To begin with, humans have always had a knack for loving combat sports. Fencing carries on from the worldly traditions of sword fighting that have been an integral part of human civilisations for a long time. Hence, it was only obvious that it too would continue the fine and 'honourable' tradition of sword fighting in the Modern Day Olympics. This is excepting the fact that there are points to decide the winner instead of blood. The foil, epee and sabre all come with their own challenges and each event surrounding the different kinds of sports are a thrill to watch. Whether it be the Olympics, World Championships or even Paralympics, fencers always step up and give a truly thrilling display of combat sports.


What gets the crowd on their feet is the scoring in every match. Every hit and every miss is cheered on as the points are added to the score board. With each touch being worth one point, it only remains to be seen where and how the fencers manage to touch the body of their opponent. A red or light green gives the requisite signal for the fencers and is duly followed up with a point added or restart of the move. The first to reach 15 is the winner and this makes the competition all the more interesting as it can swing either fencers way in a short span of time.

Style and Swagger

The fencing uniform stands out for its distinct shade of white. The helmet, neck cover and the sword all complete the fencers outfit and makes it look battle ready. Attached to the uniform is an electric sensor which detects the touch of the opponents sword. All of this is coupled with fast footwork, constant thrusts, and a certain swag that only fencers have in the way they conduct themselves. Their expression is done mostly through how they have been trained and what suits them the most in terms of getting one over their opponent.

Science and Fitness

No sport is complete without some kind of statistic being thrown in to show its uniqueness. Lot of studies have shown that the reaction time of fencers is amongst the shortest in the world for any sport. This is mostly due to the close knit action and the need to attack and defend repeatedly for several minutes. Fencers are also at great risk of leg injuries with the Achilles tendons and knees being constant pressure points that are affected. As a result, fencers have to have the best kind of equipment that includes cushioned shoes and breathable lowers in order to allow for freedom of movement.

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