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Usmanov, Alisher Burkhanovich - RUS biography

President of the FIE since 2008

Alisher Usmanovis a visionary investor and successful entrepreneur with interests in metals and mining, telecom, media and internet.

Alisher Usmanov was born on September 9, 1953 in the town of Chust in the Namangan Region of Uzbekistan. In 1976, he graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) with a degree in international law. In 1997, he obtained a degree in banking from the Financial Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation. He also holds a PhD in Social Science.

Alisher Usmanov is a shareholder of Metalloinvest, the leading Russian board mining company, MegaFon, the second largest Russian mobile operator, Mail.ru Group, the leading Russian internet company, and UTH Media Holding. He also owns Kommersant Publishing House and has an interest in Arsenal, a British football club.

Alisher Usmanov has been President of the FIE since 2008. He was President of the European Fencing Confederation from 2005 to 2009 and the Russian Fencing Federation from 2001 to 2009. In 2004, he founded the International Charity Fund “For Future of Fencing” to support fencing all over the world.

Alisher Usmanov is a member of the Russian President’s Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport, Excellence in Sports, Preparation and Organization of the 2014 Sochi XXII Winter Olympics and XI Paralympics, and the 2013 Kazan XXVII Summer Universiade and a member of the Board of Trustees of the “Russian Olympian Sportsmen Support Fund”.

In a personal capacity and through MegaFon and Metalloinvest, Alisher Usmanov acts as a Partner of Sochi2014, and supports XXVII World Summer Universiade in Kazan, the Russian Biathlon Union, Kontinental Hockey League, Russian Premier League, Russian national football, biathlon and hockey teams, Russian football club Zenith. He also provides support to motorsport and Paralympic sports. His wife, Irina Viner-Usmanova, is the President of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics and the Head Coach of the Russian national team.

Alisher Usmanov is the founder of the Arts, Science and Sports Charity Foundation, one of the key supporters of the successful 2018 Russian football World Cup bid. The Foundation supports the Russian Fencing Federation, the All-Russian Kayak-Canoe Federation and the All-Russian Volleyball Federation, and assists in the organization of international tournaments, the promotion of sport and the improvement of organizational aspects of competitions.

By presidential decree № 608 of July 6, 2013, Mr. Usmanov was awarded the Order for Service to the Fatherland IV class in recognition of his services to the state, as well as his community and charitable activities. By presidential decree № 365 of March 17, 2004, Mr. Usmanov was awarded the Order of Honour for his contribution to business. He was also presented with a letter of gratitude from the President of the Russian Federation on May 7, 2000.

In 2011, he received the Order of Friendship of the Republic of Kazakhstan for his work on maintaining the common accord in society, and his achievements in strengthening peace, friendship and cooperation between peoples.

Mr Usmanov was awarded the Order for Service to the Fatherland IV class in recognition of his services to the state, as well as his community and charitable activities; the Order of Alexander Nevsky and the Order of Honour of the Russian Federation for his professional contribution over a long period of time; the Medal for Contribution to International Cooperation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; and the Order of Friendship of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Roch, Rene - FRA biography

President of the FIE from 1992 to 2008

President of Honor of the FIE since 2008

Member of Honor of the FIE since 1989

René Roch was born in Paris on 28 June 1929.

He studied at the University of Paris-Sorbonne where he obtained a degree in law, prior to obtaining a diploma as an expert accountant.

As an auditor, he was registered with the Paris Court of Appeals and as CEO of his auditing company.

A former foil and sabre fencer, he was French junior and senior university sabre champion in 1949 and, in the same year, French junior university foil champion. A member of the French team from 1950 to 1961, he participated in numerous international competitions, such as the Santelli Cup, the World Championships and the University Games.

René Roch often had to juggle his professional career and his passion for fencing. In 1951, he limited his athletic activity in order to continue his studies and fulfil his military obligations as an administrative officer. From 1956, the year in which he became French military champion, to 1961, he re-joined the French Team. In 1957, he was selected for the World University Championships and, in the same year, he won 3rd place at the Spartakiades of Moscow in team sabre. In 1959, he was selected to participate in the Senior World Championships. He participated in the European Cup from 1970 to 1975.

His career as a sports leader started in the 1980s. He was the General Treasurer of the French Fencing Federation (F.F.E.) from 1980 to 1984, then Vice-President of the same federation from 1988 to 1992. Since 1992, he has been a Member of Honorof the F.F.E.

In parallel, he was Secretary Treasurer of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) from 1984 to 1992, President of the Committee for Promotion and Publicity of the FIE and Member of Honorof the FIE since 1989.

He was President of the FIE from 1992 to 2008 and was for a long time the only French national at the head of an international sports federation.

In 1999, René Roch was appointed Knight of the Legion of Honour and, in the same year, the Republic of Senegal made him an Officer of the Ordre National du Lion in Senegal, for the way he promoted the development of fencing in Africa, thanks to a close collaboration with the Senegal Fencing Federation. He created the first International Fencing School in Dakar.

The IOC awarded him the Olympic Order in 2009.

During his career, René Roch has strongly defended the values of a type of fencing that is francophone by language but more and more global by practice, more spectacular and telegenic, in which modernity and tradition are combined. In this regard, he has created the masters who were widely broadcast by various TV channels. He initiated many changes in regulations in order to make fencing more understandable and more spectacular. He developed women’s épée and sabre so that these disciplines could be included in the World Championships. He obtained their inclusion in the Olympics of 1996 for women’s épée and of 2000 for the sabre. In 2008, he introduced video refereeing at the Olympic Games and the other FIE competitions. He strongly defended the place of Olympic fencing in the face of the arrival of more popular sports, but the IOC did not grant him the two additional events that could have allowed for a complete representation at the Olympic Games.

Boitelle, Rolland - FRA biography

President of the FIE from 1985 to 1988 and from 1989 to 1992

Appointed Member of Honor in 1986

Rolland Boitelle, who was born on 31 December 1924 and died on 11 December 2007 in Saint Mandé, represented fencing for more than 80 years. His name is synonymous with sabre fencing, referee and with captain, General Secretary or President. International referee in all three weapons for more than 30 years, he was the Captain of France's foil teams from 1955 to 1976, a period during which the foil fencers brought in about 31 medals, including 9 gold and 8 silver.

He was president of the French Fencing Federation from 1981 to 1984, after being its Secretary General from 1978 to 1981, and he was also member of the Board of Directors from 1958 to 1981. During his presidency, he created an efficient and complementary technical department with J.-M. Oprendek and Daniel Revenu, leading to the completion of many highly useful projects.

He only left this presidency in order to accept an equally challenging one, that of the FIE from 1984 to 1992, where he was supported by Emmanuel Rodocanachi as Secretary General and René Roch as Secretary Treasurer. In 1992, Rolland Boitelle initiated the modification of FIE statutes so that the Federation’s management would be entrusted to an Executive committee consisting of twelve members of different nationalities, elected by the congress.

Secretary General of the French national Olympic and athletic committee from 1982 to 1984 and vice-president of this Committee from 1984 to 1988, Rolland Boitelle was also a member of the French Committee of Honours and Heritage. He was named “Master of Honor” of the Academy of Arms of France. Very active in fencing until his death, he certainly symbolised this fencers’ motto: give more than you receive!

Brusati, Giancarlo - ITA biography

President of the FIE from 1981 to 1984

Nominated Member of Honor in 1974

Giancarlo Brusati was an Italian epeeist. He was born in Milan on March 6th 1910 and died in Barlassina on June 30th 2001.

He had a remarkable sports career. He participated in many international competitions and won many medals, always at team epee. He won a gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games; participated in the 1931 World Championships; won the gold medal in 1933 and the silver medal in 1934. In addition, he won the silver medal at the 1933 Universiade.

He was also known for his career in the sports administration, especially for his position of President of the FIE, which he held from 1981 to 1984.

In 1987, Giancarlo was awarded the Chevalier Feyerick Trophy, having been “a highly talented fencer and team member, Olympic champion at épée in 1936 in Berlin, then established himself as an exceptional leader.” (FIE Statutes extract)

De Capriles, Miguel - USA biography

President of the FIE from 1961 to 1964

Nominated Member of Honor in 1965

Miguel Angel de Capriles was born on November 30th 1906 in Mexico and died on May 24th 1981 in San Francisco. He came to the United States when he was very young and studied at the University of New York where he obtained his Master of economics in 1931 and his doctorate in law in 1937.

He had a professional academic career at the University of New York. He was first a Professor of economics and law, then became dean of the law faculty and finally, Vice-president of the University until his retirement in 1975.

He added a sport to his career, fencing, and was more famous for his impressive career as a sports administrator. Holder of many national medals, he won two bronze medals at the 1932 and 1948 Olympic Games, at team epee and team sabre, respectively. He was the first American to preside over an Olympic final as President of the jury in 1936. After retiring from competitions in 1952, he remained involved in the development of fencing. He was elected President of the Amateur Fencing League of America that became the United States Fencing Association, from 1948 to 1952. He also was the President of the FIE from 1961 to 1964, becoming the first non-European president of the federation. In 1975, he was the first recipient of the Olympic Order for his important contribution to sport.

Miguel de Capriles ran almost all aspects of fencing in the United States during 50 years and participated in the development of this sport in his country.

Ferri, Pierre - FRA biography

President of the FIE from 1957 to 1960 and from 1965 to 1980

Appointed Member of Honour in 1953

Pierre Ferri was a French politician. He was born on 3 September 1904 and died on 23 November 1993 in Paris. Four areas of interest summarise his values and his actions: politics, stock exchange, fencing and gastronomy… Not to forget his family, which this kind-hearted humanist always combined with his professional interests.

From the Fénelon Lyceum to Condorcet, the Law School and Political Science diploma, the securities broker became a stockbroker and Municipal councillor of Paris. Elected General Councillor of the Seine, he became a member of the Parliament in 1951 and minister of Post and Telecommunications in 1953.

This indefatigable worker was a member of the Sports Academy and assisted the president of the Olympic Committee from 1963 onwards. Vice-president of the French Fencing Federation and Secretary General of the FIE from 1949 to 1952, during the presidency of Jacques Coutrot, he was elected and then re-elected four times as President of the FIE from 1957 to 1960 and then from 1965 to 1980. His diplomacy and political flair did wonders during an important period in which there were political issues at stake, particularly with countries like the USSR and East Germany or with Apartheid.

We owe him the inclusion of French as an official language of fencing and the enviable, but always disputed, position of this sport within the Olympic Games. He fenced for the Military Club, where, under master Dodivers, he became a very talented epee fencer; fast and precise, with a good sense of distance and of friendship. He joined Gaston Amson at the fencing hall of the French Automobile Club in 1945, where he succeeded him as president in 1960.

He often presided over the friends Clubs, cultivating amicable relationships. At the age of 38, he entered the Club of One Hundred, became a member of the Academy of gastronomesand president of the National Union of Reserve Officers. He was decorated as Officer of the Legion of Honour, commander of the National Merit and the Military merit and of the Cross of War. Appointed to the position of Member of Honour of the FIE in 1953, Pierre Ferri was awarded the Chevalier Feyerick Trophy in 1961 for his “tireless devotion to the cause of sport; he has, as President of the F.I.E., through his personal work, contributed to the development and spread of fencing throughout the world, and worked happily to strengthen the sporting friendship which unites the leaders of all the national Federations.”

Mazzini, Guiseppe - ITA biography

President of the FIE from 1953 to 1956

Nominated Member of Honour in 1935

Born on April 7th 1883 in Livorno and deceased on November 11th 1961 in Turin, Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian business man and politician. His initial studies led him far from fencing. He graduated with a degree in engineering and was an industrialist, president and adviser of many industrial companies, in particular Fiat. He turned out to be also attracted by politics. He was member of the Parliament from 1921 to 1939, and was elected Senator in 1943. Liberal-democrat, he was interested in the social problems that Italy suffered from at that time.

He developed a keen interest in fencing and had a prodigious career in sports administration. He was President of the Italian Fencing Federation twice. The first time from 1924 to 1935 and the second time from 1947 to 1952. During his first term, Giuseppe knew how to oxygenate the federation that needed a real leader, establishing his authority and having clear ideas. During his second term, he had to manage as well as possible the delicate post-war period reducing costs, resolving several issues all very urgent and taking quick decisions in order to be prepared for the approaching London Olympic Games.

He also was nominated Member of Honour of the FIE in 1935 and was President of the FIE from 1953 to 1956.

He was generous and had a gift for understanding problems, as well as a great capacity for organization, a quality that he developed throughout his political career. His great diplomatic nature enabled him to push Italian fencing forward. He brought energy, cohesion and financial resources during a difficult period for Italy, boosting the country’s rating at the international level after the injuries from the war.

Courot, Jacques - FRA biography

President of the FIE from 1949 to 1952

Appointed Member of Honour in 1952

Jacques Coutrot was born on 10 April 1898 and died on 17 September 1965 in Paris, and was a very important and forceful personality in the world of French and international fencing. Exemplary man, father and fencer, he was known and recognised for his morality, his courage and his sense of friendship, as well as his loyalty and enthusiasm, in addition to his value as a peerless fencer, trained by master Bergès (at Bossuet) at foil, and by master Dodivers (at the Military Club) at épée. A complete fencer, he had inexhaustible physical and moral resources.

We will never forget the final strike by master Lucien Mérignac in the Automobile Club of France (ACF) fencing hall, which won him the Monal in épée in 1939. He also won the gold in team épée in 1951 at the world championships in Stockholm (SWE): he was 53 then.

His record says it all: Olympic team foil champion in 1924 and fourth in the individual event at the same Games, second in the team event in Berlin, several times French foil and épée champion, European and world vice-champion, and Monal winner when he was over 40 years old. He won team gold at the Olympic Games of 1924 and gold in 1936, in Berlin. At the World Championships, he won gold in 1930 in Liege (with René Bougnol, Philippe Cattiau, Édward Gardère and Rolland Lemoine), in 1931 in Vienna and in 1933 in Budapest. He won two more silver medals in Paris, in 1937, in the individual and team events.

Vice-president of the French Fencing Federation (FFE), he was elected President of the FIE in 1948. He held the position until 1952, always demonstrating his characteristic rigour, science and diplomacy.

Anspach, Paiul - BEL biography

President of the FIE from 1933 to 1948

Appointed Member of Honour in 1924

A Doctor of Law and member of the Brussels bar, Paul Anspach became the first deputy of the General Auditor.In the service of the State, he followed in the footsteps of his father, the lawyer Armand Anspach (1856-1937), and of his grandfather, Eugène Anspach (1833-1890). Paul Anspach was born on 1 April 1882 in Brussels and died on 28 August 1981 in Forest. He married three times and his first two marriages produced six sons, who gave him eight grandchildren.

A brilliant three weapon fencer, he practised various sports prior to devoting himself to fencing. In 1903 he became a Belgian international, representing his country in 96 international competitions over 25 years. He won the bronze medal in team épée in 1908during the London Olympic Games.He was Olympic champion in individual and team épée in 1912 at the Stockholm Olympic Games. He then won silver in team épée in 1920 and 1924 at the Olympic Games in Antwerp and Paris respectively. He participated in 19 major tournaments, always reaching the final stages of the competition.

From 1906 he was a key member of the Belgian Olympic Committee and the Committees of the Royal Belgian Federation of fencing associations, and was designated by Pierre de Coubertin for the positions of Secretary at the Congress of National Olympic committees and of the international federations in Paris in 1914. He was also Secretary of the organising committee of fencing trials for the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, and in charge of drafting the statute of amateurs for all international federations in 1933.

Having been the secretary general of the FIE from its creation in 1913, he was put in charge of coordinating the drafting of various fencing regulations and was elected president of the FIE in Geneva in 1932. His term lasted for 16 years. He was re-elected in Berlin in 1936. In 1946, after the interruption of FIE activities which started in September 1939, he was confirmed as president in order to oversee preparations for the London Games.

He was the first holder of the Taher Pacha Trophy, awarded by the IOC in 1951, and Member of Honour of the FIE, who awarded him the "Chevalier Feyerick Trophy" in 1946 "for the sporting and courageous way in which, during the war, he defended the interests and prestige of the F.I.E. in spite of the danger to himself; for the efforts made with a view to safeguarding the autonomy of the F.I.E. and for the work carried out after the war to return it to its former splendour”. (Extract of FIE Statutes)

Empeyta, Eygene - SUI biography

President of the FIE from 1929 to 1932

Nominated Member of Honour in 1932

Eugène Empeyta was a Swiss fencer born on September 12th 1892 and deceased on May 20th 1951 in Geneva, Switzerland.

He participated in the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, competing in individual and team epee, in Paris 1924 in individual and team epee and foil, and in Amsterdam 1928 in individual and team epee and foil.

With a professional career as a lawyer, he also had a brilliant one in sports administration, in particular as the President of the Swiss National Fencing Federation from 1924 to 1925.

In July 1928, the FIE Congress, held in Amsterdam during the Olympic Games, elected Mr. Eugène Empeyta – former President of the Swiss National Fencing Federation – as President of the FIE from 1 January 1929. The 1932 Congress, held in Geneva, appointed him as Member of Honour of the FIE.

Van Rossem, George - NED biography

President of the FIE from 1925 to 1928

Nominated Member de Honor in 1928

George van Rossem was a Dutch fencer born on May 30th 1882 in The Hague and died on January 14th 1955 in Wassenaar.

He won several Olympic medals, in particular a silver medal at individual sabre and a bronze medal at team sabre at the 1906 Athens Olympic Games, a bronze medal at team epee and at team sabre at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games.

In addition, he had a brilliant career in sports administration, especially at the FIE. In June 1924, the FIE Congress held in Paris during the Olympic Games, appointed Captain G. van Rossem – who was President of the Royal Fencing Federation of Holland – as President of the FIE, starting from 1 January 1925. The 1928 Congress, held in Amsterdam, appointed him as Member of Honor of the FIE.

Maginot, Andre - FRA biography

President of the FIE from 1921 to 1924

Appointed Member of Honour in 1924

Receiving his doctorate in Law in 1897, he started his political career as general councillor and was elected as MP of Bar-le-Duc in 1910.When the First World War started, while he was State Under-Secretary, and he enlisted as soldier. Wounded in 1914, he received the Military Medal, then in 1919 was made Knight of the Legion of Honour for his actions on the front. In 1917, he became Minister of the Colonies, then Minister of Pensions in 1920 and Minister of War in 1922 in the government of Raymond Poincaré, in which role he handled the defence of French borders. Once more appointed as Minister of War in 1929, he continued the fortifications in the east of France. His lobbying led to securing funding for the Maginot line: 3.3 billion francs over 4 years. The defensive line was mainly due to Paul Painlevé, but its construction would not have been possible without the efforts and determination of Maginot.

Despite his positions as MP for the Meuse and Minister of War, he practised his preferred sport at the French Automobile Club under Lucien Merignac and brought fencing to the attention of the media by fighting a resounding épée match with Bernard Gravier in the gardens of the Laurent Hall. Gravier was a famous épée champion, who Maginot had known since his days at Political Science and who died an untimely death in 1923. As soon as he entered the Bourbon Palace, Maginot founded the parliamentary group for the defence of fencing, then became director of the Parisian Federation of fencers in 1918, before being elected as the head of the National Fencing Federation (FNE), following recommendations by the Marquis de Chasseloup Laubat.

In 1920, he initiated and organised the merger between the National Fencing Federation and the wealthy Society for the Promotion of French Fencing, a public interest foundation established in 1891. Created in 1906, the unity of the Federation took a great step forward through this merger, made possible by the perfect agreement with Hébrard de Villeneuve, president of the Parisian Federation of Fencers. A few months later, in Antwerp, in January 1921, Andre Maginot was once more acclaimed as the new President of the FIE; he held this position until 1924, when he became Member of Honour until his death of typhoid fever in 1932. Andre Maginot did a great deal for French and international fencing, as well as for the statute of civil and army Fencing Masters.

Feyerick, Albert - BEL biography

President of the FIE from 1913 to 1919

Both a great fencer and a patron of fencing, he was an exceptional leader.As President of the Federation of Fencing clubs of Belgium, Albert Feyerick participated in 1905 in the International Congress of sports and physical education which took place in Brussels.

He was the organiser and the patron of numerous high-profile European tournaments. On 29 November 1913, he was elected first president of the FIE, which he remained until his death in February 1919. Dean of the Confrérie royale et chevalière de Saint-Michel in Ghent, he endured with resolution the wartime occupation, and his sentiments for France earned him the cross of the Legion of Honour.

He won the bronze medal in team épée at the 1908 London Olympic Games with his friend Paul Anspach. In 1900, he wrote a booklet on “The teaching of fencing in the army in Belgium”. Robert Leon Feyerick, his nephew, also a fencer, was knighted by King Albert I on 28 December 1929 for his courage during World War I. The FIE gave his name to the “Chevalier Feyerick Trophy”, which rewards noble and valuable acts in fencing.