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2005-06-08 02:36 - 2012 Olympic decision soon
Posted by Brillmartmore from same (Olympics)
OlympicsFencing has been on the Olympic Programme since the first Modern Olympics in 1896, Athens.  Shortly the IOC will begin voting on the 2012 Olympic games. First will be the vote for the candidate cities. Nine candidates cities have applied. Five have made the shortlist. Bids (by order of final presentation): Paris, New York, Moscow, London and Madrid. They will then look at the sports to be included in the 2012 programme.

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Only recognised Olympic sports can be included on the Olympic programme. They must be sports where the result is determined by personal endevour, so fencing is recognised but motor sport and power boating cannot beon the programme.

Since 1936 the International Olympic Committee regularly added sports to the Olympic programme. However, in 2002 the IOC established a cap, deciding that there should be no more than 28 sports on the Olympic programme, with a maximum total of 301 events (gold medals) and 10,500 athletes. They agreed to also systematically review the programme composition after each Olympics. The current 28 sports have been evaluated by the Program Commission against 33 criteria, to ensure the composition is relevant and meets expectations. A further 5 recognised sports have also been evaluated; golf,  roller sports, rugby (sevens), Karate and squash.

On July 6th  the IOC members vote o the choice of city for the 2012 Olympics then on July 8th will  vote by secret ballot on each of the 28 sports that were part of the Athens Olympic progreamme. Each sport must receive a simple majority (50%) to remain on the Olympic program. If one or more sports is not admitted then the IOC Executive Board will meet to determine which applicant sports may be proposed.

The IOC's cap on participation, limits fencing to 10 events, and 220 fencers, based on Sydney 2000 participation. This creates a dilema for the FIE who wishes to see all men's and women's individual andteam events (12) on the program. Sadly  the full 12 events cannot yet be held under current IOC rules, so  two events miss out.

The first Olympic Fencing events:
In the Zappeion, the first fencing events took  place for amateurs and for fencing masters (professionals). The latter event is the first event to be held especially for professionals. This is remarkable, as the Olympics did not, for a long time, allow professional athletes to compete, with  the sole exception of fencing. The final of the amateur foil event was a  French affair. Won by Eugène-Henri Gravelotte. The fight between the two master fencers on foil was won by  Leonidas Pyrgos there by became the first Greek Olympic Champion of the modern era.

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