Olympics: Fencing with a Touch of Class

Competitions in foil, saber and épée are black-tie occasions

Cyrano de Bergerac hung over the parapet, taunting the standards of 20th century swordsmanship. Bemused spectators at the Long Beach Terrace Theater were greeted by a brass ensemble energetically fanfaring the Olympics. Instead of programs, there were pamphlets explaining the sport. A packed 3,000-seat house cheered as the curtain rose on the finals of the men's foil fencing, held on stage. The rows of dignitaries and, yes, the TV cameramen looked very dignified in black tie. The judges on the floor presented elegant tuxedoed backs...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!