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Ever wondered who dominates the piste in the fencing universe?

From ripostes that rip through defenses to parries that pivot the match, these 15 maestros have foiled the competition and set the gold standard in their sport.

Cross blades with history as we lunge into the tales of the greatest fencers to ever salute.

Best Fencers:

  1. Edoardo Mangiarotti
  2. Valentina Vezzali
  3. Aladár Gerevich
  4. Nedo Nadi
  5. Ildikó Rejtő
  6. Stanislav Pozdnyakov
  7. Aleksandr Romankov
  8. Christian d’Oriola
  9. Viktor Krovopuskov
  10. Mariel Zagunis
  11. Arnd Schmitt
  12. Paolo Pizzo
  13. Olga Kharlan
  14. Stefano Carozzo
  15. Áron Szilágyi

#1 Edoardo Mangiarotti

  • 🌍 Nationality: Italian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: April 7, 1919
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Epee and Foil Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 13 Olympic medals (6 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze), 26 World Championship medals

Edoardo Mangiarotti, known as the “Master of the Epee”, is one of the most decorated fencers in history. His precision and tactical prowess set him apart, facilitating an illustrious career spanning three decades. With a deep understanding of timing and distance, he was a formidable opponent who combined finesse with strategic planning.

Emerging from a family with a strong fencing lineage, Mangiarotti’s legacy extends beyond his medal haul. He inspired generations of Italian fencers and is often cited as a key figure in promoting the sport globally. Despite the challenges of competing through eras of political turmoil, his focus and commitment remained unwavering. Mangiarotti’s impact continues to be felt in the fencing community, and his sportsmanship and skill remain the benchmark for excellence.

#2 Valentina Vezzali

  • 🌍 Nationality: Italian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: February 14, 1974
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Foil Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 6 Olympic gold medals, 1 silver, 2 bronze, 16 World Championship titles

Valentina Vezzali is often hailed as the “Queen of Foil” owing to her exceptional career and dominance in the sport. Her agility and tactical intelligence make her one of the most successful female fencers of all time. Vezzali’s winning mentality and consistency in high-pressure situations exemplify her heroic status in fencing.

The legacy she forged in the arena extends to her role as an Italian Parliament member, where she utilized her stature to advocate for sports and social issues. Wielding her influence responsibly, she has afforded visibility to causes dear to her heart. Vezzali’s pursuit of balance between her athletic prowess and personal convictions continues to serve as an inspiration for many striving for excellence both on and off the piste.

#3 Aladár Gerevich

  • 🌍 Nationality: Hungarian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: March 16, 1910
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Sabre Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 7 Olympic gold medals, 1 silver, 2 bronze, 10 World Championship medals

Known as the “SABREtastic Six-Timer” for his unparalleled run of Olympic victories, Aladár Gerevich’s name is etched into the annals of fencing lore. His extraordinary athleticism and indomitable spirit saw him win across various eras, even returning to Olympic glory after a decade-long hiatus due to World War II.

Gerevich’s legacy is not only that of an outstanding athlete but also that of determination and resilience. Despite the challenge of maintaining peak performance levels across many years, he exemplified the relentless pursuit of success. This unwavering commitment made him a historic figure in the sport, and his contributions to Hungarian fencing serve as an enduring testament to his greatness.

#4 Nedo Nadi

  • 🌍 Nationality: Italian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: July 9, 1894
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Foil, Epee, and Sabre Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 6 Olympic gold medals, 5 gold medals in 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games

Nedo Nadi, the “Fencing Maestro,” achieved unprecedented success at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, where he clinched five gold medals across all three weapons, solidifying his place as an all-time great. His versatility and adaptability in mastering different fencing disciplines showcased his comprehensive skill set.

Nadi’s influence on fencing went far beyond his medal tally; he played a crucial part in popularizing the sport in Italy and around the world. As a symbol of athletic excellence, his commitment to perfecting his art serves as an aspirational blueprint for athletes across disciplines. Nadi’s enduring legacy reverberates in the hearts of those who appreciate the finesse and honour associated with fencing.

#5 Ildikó Rejtő

  • 🌍 Nationality: Hungarian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: May 11, 1937
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Foil and Epee Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 7 Olympic medals (2 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze), 7 World Championship titles

Ildikó Rejtő, renowned as the “Iron Lady” of fencing, made her mark as one of the most versatile and consistent performers on the international stage. Her dueling finesse in both foil and epee categories demonstrated an exceptional adaptability and comprehensive understanding of the sport.

With her strength and strategic insights, Rejtő faced and overcame considerable challenges, including navigating the geopolitical complexities of her era. She established herself not only as a trailblazer for Hungarian fencing but also as a profound role model for aspiring female athletes. Her dedication and achievements carved a place for her in the pantheon of fencing legends.

#6 Stanislav Pozdnyakov

  • 🌍 Nationality: Russian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: September 27, 1973
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Sabre Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 4 Olympic gold medals, 1 bronze, 10 World Championship titles

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the “Sabre Champion,” is acclaimed for his dynamic fencing style and unmatched reflexes, which have earned him a place among fencing’s elite. He has a legacy of intense focus and an ability to perform under pressure, capturing numerous world titles and Olympic glory.

His influence stretches beyond competition; Pozdnyakov has played a pivotal role in sports administration, leading the Russian Olympic Committee, and emphasizing athletes’ welfare and development. His efforts extend his impact from individual dominance to shaping the future of Russian sports. His continued commitment to the ideals of Olympism underscores his status as a true sporting legend.

#7 Aleksandr Romankov

  • 🌍 Nationality: Soviet/Belarusian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: November 7, 1953
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Foil Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: Olympic silver (1980) and bronze (1976, 1988) medals, 4 World Championship gold medals, FIE Hall of Fame

Aleksandr Romankov is distinguished in the fencing world for his innovation and dominance in foil fencing. Often referred to as the “Foil Maestro,” Romankov elevated the technical and strategic aspects of fencing during his active years. His contributions are recognized in the development of modern foil techniques and his consistent top-tier performances.

Romankov’s place in fencing history is bolstered by his transition into coaching, where he has imparted his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of fencers. His personal triumphs, both as a fencer and as a mentor, stand as a testament to his comprehensive understanding and dedication to the sport of fencing.

#8 Christian d’Oriola

  • 🌍 Nationality: French
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: October 3, 1928
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Foil Fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 4 Olympic gold medals, 2 silver, 9 World Championship titles

Christian d’Oriola, celebrated as the “Fencing Phenomenon,” is one of the sport’s true icons. His artistic style and impeccable sense of time and space marked him out as a master tactician in the foil. His legacy encompasses both Olympic and World Championship triumphs, underlining his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

Off the piste, d’Oriola was an ambassador for fencing, helping it reach a broader audience. His influence shaped future generations, both in France and internationally, making his mark not just as a competitor but also as a visionary for the sport’s development and promotion. The elegance and precision d’Oriola brought to fencing continue to inspire fencers worldwide.

#9 Viktor Krovopuskov

  • 🌍 Nationality: Soviet
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: September 25, 1950
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Sabre fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 4× Olympic champion, 7× World Champion, Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR

Viktor Krovopuskov was a maestro with the sabre, his swift and precise strikes becoming a hallmark of his fencing style. He dominated the sport during the late 70s and 80s, ensuring the Soviet Union’s supremacy in sabre fencing.

Beside his individual accolades, Krovopuskov was a key member of the Soviet fencing team, contributing significantly to its success. His discipline and competitive spirit left a lasting influence on future generations of fencers in his country and beyond. Respected for his skill and honoured in his homeland, Krovopuskov’s legacy is firmly entrenched in the annals of fencing history.

#10 Mariel Zagunis

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: March 3, 1985
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Sabre fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 2× Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008), World Championships gold medalist (2009, 2010, 2014)

Mariel Zagunis is renowned in the world of fencing for her explosive attacks and strong defensive tactics. As the first American fencer to win Olympic gold in a century, her victories in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 paved the way for a resurgence of the sport in the US.

Zagunis, also a trailblazer for women in fencing, has utilized her high profile to promote and inspire the next generation. Her dedication to her craft and her leadership both on and off the piste have made her an extraordinary role model in the fencing community and a respected athlete globally.

#11 Arnd Schmitt

  • 🌍 Nationality: German
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: July 13, 1965
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Épée fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 2× Olympic gold medalist (1988, 1992), World Champion (1994), multiple-time European champion

Arnd Schmitt stood out for his strategic fencing and powerful ripostes. His talent shone brightly at the Seoul and Barcelona Olympics where he secured his place among the fencing elites by winning the individual épée gold medals.

Post-retirement, Schmitt’s contributions have continued through coaching, shaping the next generation of German fencers. His career is a testament to the precision and mental fortitude required to excel in épée fencing, and his transition from Olympian to mentor highlights the broader impact successful athletes can have on their sports.

#12 Paolo Pizzo

  • 🌍 Nationality: Italian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: April 4, 1983
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Épée fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: World Champion (2011, 2017), European Champion (2010)

Paolo Pizzo is celebrated for his dynamic and aggressive fencing style, marked by his powerful lunges and strategic counter-attacks. The Italian fencer’s tenacity on the piste made him a dual World Champion, capturing the global spotlight and continuing Italy’s storied fencing heritage.

Off the piste, Pizzo’s personality shines, endearing him to fans and adding charisma to the sport. His ability to perform under pressure has not only earned him medals but also the admiration and respect of his peers, reinforcing the rich tradition of Italian excellence in fencing.

#13 Olga Kharlan

  • 🌍 Nationality: Ukrainian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: September 4, 1990
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Sabre fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: Olympic bronze medalist (2008, 2012, 2016), 5× World Champion, multiple European Champion

Olga Kharlan is distinguished by her quick footwork and decisive attack sequences. She has consistently been a strong force in sabre fencing, as evidenced by her numerous World and European Championships and her Olympic accolades.

Beyond her fencing success, Kharlan has been active in her home country’s social affairs, notably during times of political turmoil. She remains a leading figure in the fencing community, her commitment and passion for the sport propelling her to the heights of fencing glory and influencing countless young athletes in Ukraine and worldwide.

#14 Stefano Carozzo

  • 🌍 Nationality: Italian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: January 17, 1979 
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Épée fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: Bronze medal men’s team épée event (2008 Summer Olympics)

Stefano Carozzo, despite not achieving the same level of global recognition as some others on this list, has made his mark in the fencing world with notable national victories and international performances. His expertise in épée has contributed to Italy’s fencing achievements, and his dedication to the sport is apparent in both his technical skill and competitive mindset.

Carozzo’s career, though perhaps not as publicly lauded, encapsulates the spirit of fencing—where discipline, precision, and passion blend to create formidable athletes who contribute significantly to the tapestry of the sport’s history.

#15 Áron Szilágyi

  • 🌍 Nationality: Hungarian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: January 14, 1990
  • 🤺 Position/Role: Sabre fencer
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 3× Olympic champion (2012, 2016, 2021), World Champion (2013), multiple European Champion

Áron Szilágyi is a fencing prodigy, known for his lightning-fast blade actions and strategic mind. Dominating the sport with three Olympic gold medals, he has earned renown as one of the greatest sabre fencers of all time. His supremacy on the global stage has brought both pride and inspiration to Hungary.

Off the piste, Szilágyi is respected for his contributions to the promotion of fencing as a sport, engaging with the community and encouraging athletic development. His achievements are not only a personal victory but also a beacon of excellence representing the enduring legacy of Hungarian fencing prowess.

Enhance your understanding and appreciation of these athletes by exploring fencing’s rich history, which spans centuries.


Who is the best Fencing player of all time?

Edoardo Mangiarotti is considered the best Fencing player of all time. Here’s a link to our article on why we think Edoardo Mangiarotti is the best fencing player of all time. His medal record and technical skill in the sport are unmatched.

Who are the top 10 greatest Fencing players of all time?

Edoardo Mangiarotti, Valentina Vezzali, Aladár Gerevich, Nedo Nadi, Ildikó Rejtő, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, Aleksandr Romankov, Christian d’Oriola, Viktor Krovopuskov, and Mariel Zagunis are the top 10 greatest Fencing players of all time. These fencers have achieved remarkable success and have left an indelible mark on the history of the sport.

Who is the most famous female Fencing player?

Valentina Vezzali is the most famous female Fencing player. Her illustrious career includes six Olympic gold medals and numerous World Championships, securing her status as a fencing legend.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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