Famous Women Swordswomen



The title of greatest woman fencer of all time probably belongs to Ilona Elek of Hungary. Miss Elek was the Olympic champion in 1936 and 1948 and world champion in 1934, 1935 and 1951. Other outstanding international fencers include Helene Mayer of Germany, Elen Preis of Austria, Irene Camber of Italy and Karen Lachmann of Denmark. Three American women performed with distinction in Olympic competition: Mrs. Maria Cerra Tishman, Mrs. Janice York Romary and Mrs. Maxine Mitchell.

In the early days of women’s fencing in the United States Adeline Gehrig, sister of baseball’s immortal Lou, was the outstanding national champion. Another star of that period was Mrs. C.H. Voorhees. In later years the outstanding champions were Mrs. Florence Schoonmaker, Marion Lloyd, Dorothy Locke, Mrs. Helena M. Dow, Miss York and Mrs. Mitchell.

Miss Mayer came to live in the United States in 1933 and won the National championship eight times between 1934 and 1946. The foil is the only weapon used by women.