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South Korea Wins Olympic Medals in 6 of 10 Fencing Events

August 6, 2012

By Valerie Brod, Marketing Contractor

Korea and France compete in Olympic Fencing Event. Photo from

En garde!  The competitors have taken their position.  Prete? Allez!  And the bout has begun.

Prete?  Allez?  Bout?  Let me explain…

As a fencing match, or bout, begins, the fencers take their position, which is called en garde.  Prete, or Ready, and Allez, or Go, are the commands used to signal the fencers to begin.

Fencing is a sport that requires a person to be quick with their body as well as their mind.  The physical area of fencing is long & narrow, allowing fencers to only move forward and back.  If they step off the piste, as the field of play is called, they will receive a penalty.  The goal of fencing is to score more touches than the opponent, so fencers need to constantly think about ways to attack and defend themselves from attack.

As fencing wrapped up yesterday, I noticed that South Korea emerged as a strong Olympic contender in the 2012 London games.   South Korea tripled their total number of fencing medals by winning 6 this year.  In addition, South Korea won their first team gold medal in the Men’s sabre event as Bongil Gu led the team to win 8 of 9 bouts in the final.  Each of the three Olympic fencing events (Epée, Foil and Sabre) is named after the type of weapon used.  For example, the Sabre’s history comes from a cavalry sword and at its longest, is 3 feet, 5.3 inches with a rectangular blade.

Want to learn more about South Korea and their new passion for fencing?  Host a South Korean exchange student this year!  You will learn about South Korean culture, food and lifestyle.  In return, you can share your knowledge and pride of the USA!  Check out the profiles of CCI South Korean students who are looking for a host family to share their American life.

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