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August 15, 2008 Permalink

Women's Olympic Fencing

Spectators at the fencing competition at the Olympics are often treated to some dramatic, emotional scenes - played out by passionate competitors dressed all in white, hi-tech gear, meeting inside a large darkened stadium. It also makes for some dramatic imagery, which I'll share with you here -- 16 scenes from recent women's fencing matches in Beijing. (16 photos total)

China's Zhang Lei reacts to losing the Women's individual Foil round of 16 match to Italy's Maria Valentina Vezzali (unseen) on August 11, 2008 at the Fencing Hall of National Convention center, as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games. Vezzali won 10-7. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

80 comments so far...

Great pictures!
Great timing!

Posted by yip August 15, 08 03:29 AM

That multi-exposure says it all.

Posted by RBST August 15, 08 03:42 AM

why bite the bronze medal?

Posted by david August 15, 08 04:24 AM

Great photos. Can you use flash at an event like this?

Posted by tom August 15, 08 05:34 AM


Posted by comp August 15, 08 05:56 AM

Lovely photos as always!

Posted by Cameron August 15, 08 06:04 AM

Great pictures!
Great timing!

Posted by yip August 15, 08 06:31 AM

Thanks for the cool pictures. Enjoy your vacation! :)

Posted by Stefan Lindberg August 15, 08 06:35 AM

Pictures are truly wonderful! We want more...:)
Best regards for Slovenia, EU.

Posted by Matej August 15, 08 07:03 AM

love this blog....keep on posting great photos...thank you so much.

Posted by Tahir August 15, 08 07:42 AM

amazing shots

Posted by Lunik August 15, 08 08:41 AM

There's no crying in Fencing!

Posted by Neutrino August 15, 08 09:00 AM

Are they supposed to be biting, or posing seductively? Someone didn't tell Granbassi (on the right.)

Posted by Joe August 15, 08 09:19 AM

Great pictures! As always.

Posted by Steven August 15, 08 09:20 AM

Very Nice!

Posted by ADguy August 15, 08 09:48 AM

Hotties :P

Posted by Chris August 15, 08 10:24 AM


Posted by superbeast August 15, 08 10:37 AM

wow, those are some great shots, thanks for posting them in such high res, the detail is incredible. The long exposure is great.

Posted by Scott Fillmer August 15, 08 10:38 AM

the caption on the 12th picture is wrong. The woman on the left is wearing a korean uniform, so it can not be Zhang Lei of China. I'm assuming it is probably Nam Hyunhee?

Posted by Lorin August 15, 08 10:44 AM

saw some of this live. thought it was going to be lame. turned out to be incredibly intense!! super good fencing, super good pics!!

Posted by blankhead August 15, 08 10:47 AM

I love this site. Massive range of emotions in those pictures.

Posted by Klinger August 15, 08 10:52 AM

The Big Picture is now copied by the WSJ. Compliment indeed...

Posted by Jon T August 15, 08 11:05 AM

Aw. It's heartbreaking about Azza Besbes (the lady on the ground crying).

Also, the two people in the last picture have nice teeth.

Posted by Chris August 15, 08 11:16 AM

Cool pictures, Margherita Granbassi sure is a cutie

Posted by Doc Holliday August 15, 08 11:32 AM


sorry those fencing masks remind me of daft punk

Posted by andrew August 15, 08 11:35 AM

What exactly does it say?

Posted by Gotz von Berlichingen August 15, 08 11:55 AM


Posted by GG August 15, 08 12:31 PM

I'm guessing the 6th photo is a long exposure with multiple flash bursts...?
The second from the last photo is a near-iconic sports photo. An athlete, crumbled in defeat, with the scoreboard beneath her showing just how close the margin of victory was. And the image on the screen below the scoreboard, is that the winner of the match taking a bow?

There's some remarkable technology being used in this old sport. With all the wires and those electronics-equipped masks and suits, these competitors do look a bit robotic. But with the fluid movements and poses that only we humans possess. For now.

On a side note, yes Granbassi is not too hard on the eyes at all. Neither is our own sabreuse Zagunis.

Posted by kevjohn August 15, 08 12:52 PM

Cool dude, Awesome images.


Posted by Jim McDish August 15, 08 12:58 PM

happy holidays :)

keep up the good stuff.


Posted by roberto ostinelli August 15, 08 01:00 PM

Margherita Granbassi is super pretty.

Posted by Erik August 15, 08 01:03 PM

Cool pictures, Margherita Granbassi sure is a cutie

Posted by Doc Holliday August 15, 08 01:19 PM

Someone should write about the technology of the fencing gear they wear. I would read about it.

Posted by Drebeck August 15, 08 02:11 PM

You bite the bronze medal to show your perfect teeth. Duh. :)

Posted by Margot August 15, 08 02:39 PM

I'd like to know where the epee shots are.

Posted by Mark Klamerus August 15, 08 03:14 PM

I hope everyone watched these on the website. Fantastic stuff, great photos!

Posted by detarame August 15, 08 03:22 PM

Women are Warriors!

Posted by TheBaltimoreBabe at Blogspot August 15, 08 03:23 PM

Sure hope those medals don't have any lead content....

Posted by voidsess0n August 15, 08 03:47 PM

@25 - Harder Better Faster Stronger!

Posted by Zippy August 15, 08 06:27 PM

beautiful pictures!

Posted by Thibault August 15, 08 06:33 PM

"why bite the bronze?" - david

Being the 3rd best Olympian is a big deal. Give the gal some credit. It is really sad that in America, the saying the "no-one remembers who came second (or third)" is alive and well.

Great pictures.

Posted by appreciative August 15, 08 07:39 PM

5. ¡¡Y TIRA!!

Posted by Que te jodan August 15, 08 10:41 PM

Shots are realistic...super quality. Show us more...

Posted by Witold Rak August 15, 08 10:45 PM

Such an interesting combination of new technologies blended with old-school fencing. It's like retro-science fiction.

Posted by Eric Stoller August 16, 08 01:10 AM


Posted by TallonZek August 16, 08 03:39 AM

Sure hope those medals don't have any lead content....

Posted by voidsess0n August 16, 08 04:01 AM

Proud to be italian!

Posted by DLT photography August 16, 08 06:04 AM

these pictures are brill, it's a shame that fencing is rather dreary to watch. nice one

Posted by Dougie August 16, 08 10:45 AM

I'm not a sabre fencer (Epee baby!) but I did enjoy that bout between Zagunis and Jacobson! These photos are just beautiful. Oh and no crying in fencing you say? Well tell that the the saberist who was sobing all over the piste. :P

Posted by Pru August 16, 08 11:39 AM

Very nice

Posted by gayathri August 16, 08 12:55 PM

straight out of a StarWars film

Posted by GwadaBoy August 16, 08 06:18 PM

Margherita, I'm in love with you !!!!
Ton regard mutin fait mouche sur mon coeur chaviré...
Si je viens en vacances dans ton beau pays,
tu me donnerais quelques cours d'escrime ???

** **
* * *
* *
* *

Posted by Fabien August 16, 08 11:15 PM

You bite the medal, to put YOUR mark on it. The individual medal will endure, even after you are dead and buried. Hopefully, your mark, and your efforts, will be remembered.

Posted by Frank August 17, 08 12:44 AM

great photos...all of them!

Posted by Atte Kolis August 17, 08 06:15 AM

People bite the gold medal for fun, because in the past that was a good way to check if a gold coin is really made of gold since gold is a "soft" metal, it would carve the teeth markings. Bronze, not so much. That is why david asked why bite the bronze medal.

Posted by Miguel August 17, 08 01:56 PM

very very cooooooooooooooool , thank you.............

Posted by Maryam August 17, 08 03:42 PM

SUPER, SUPER,SUPER... Danke scheon

Posted by Maryam August 17, 08 04:12 PM

I heard all the medals are MADE IN CHINA! lol

Posted by cruz August 18, 08 08:12 AM

Oh, yes! Have a nice and relaxing holiday

Posted by attila August 18, 08 04:38 PM

I had the opportunity of taking up this sport in San Francisco over 60 years ago but had too much on my plate at the time. Wonder if it's too late to start now? Question: Does anyone know whatever happened to Emily and Carl Romaine, the photographer/fencers from the "city" where Tony Bennett left his heart?

Posted by Shirley Woodcock Gaisford, Bozeman, Montana August 19, 08 01:11 AM

fantasec love it whant it

Posted by sharni-lee August 19, 08 06:29 PM


Posted by good thing hunter August 20, 08 11:40 PM

sooooooooooooo goooooooood
thank you

Posted by reza August 24, 08 06:38 AM

thank you
nam huynhee is great!!

Posted by lisa August 25, 08 09:07 AM

sooooooooooooooo niceeeeeeeeee.
what a great collection.

Posted by kishore.V August 25, 08 10:48 AM

wow, the pictures are great! hopefully I will have pictures like this one day since I am proud to say that as a teenage girl fencing is my passion and love. As an adult im sure it will be too a passion and love. Thank you.

Posted by Tyler August 25, 08 11:08 PM

Great Italian women!!! ;)
Vezzali and Granbassi the best!


Posted by Giò August 27, 08 10:29 AM

please send me picture

Posted by nastaran August 31, 08 02:21 AM

i love fencing. good pictures. im writing about the last 5 female fencers to win the olympics!k

Posted by penelope August 31, 08 02:51 AM

Please visit our High School Fencing Blog

The purpose of this site is the furtherance of High School Fencing in the United States. Coaches and High School Administrators are invited to post results and commentary. Fencers and Parents are invited post commentary, not results. We have received positive feedback from several college coaches saying they will be checking this blog.

Commentary and/or posts are to be well intentioned and respectful. This is not a place to cause pain or grief, but rather give national prominence to our athletes and sport.

We at Proprintwear are proud of our association with the sport of fencing. Our owner was first a Fencer, secondly a National Referee and now a business owner committed to furthering the image of fencing.

Posted by Proprintwear January 29, 09 10:30 PM

gud ..........

Posted by karanjaura February 7, 09 09:51 AM

This is quite a bit late, but it looks like the fifth one from the bottom (the one where she's jumping) may be mis-captioned. That's the (South) Korean logo thing (can never remember what it's called) on her pant leg. The Chinese one is red and gold as shown in two other pictures in this series...

Posted by Yreka February 17, 09 01:05 AM

very gooooooooooooood pls send this picture

Posted by niranjan February 17, 09 02:51 AM

awesome u know I fence 2 n_n

Posted by itachis girl March 8, 09 02:32 PM

I`m totally hooked!

Posted by kevin March 17, 09 09:21 PM

Great pictures! Thank you!!
Valentina Vezzali, the queen of fencing!!!!!!!

Posted by hangyuet March 20, 09 03:33 AM

Great pictures! Thank you!!
Valentina Vezzali, the queen of fencing!!!!!!!

Posted by stef September 30, 09 06:57 AM

These pictures are amazing! These are the best pictures of fencing I have seen so far, and all of the pictures are consistently good. The one with the blur was especially awesome!

Posted by Penguin January 16, 10 03:48 AM

beautiful pictures, but just wondering why so skewed...?

Posted by n.a.g. July 31, 10 11:01 PM

As an artist/photographer for Stars and Stripes during WW2 and a semi-finalist in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, plus a medalist in the Pan-
American Games of 1951 (all in Epee). I'm awed and very jealous of the
fantastic quality & sharpness by todays photographers. Wow!

Posted by Ed Vebell August 17, 10 05:27 PM
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