OBITUARY: Max Geuter, Member of Honour and Hall of Fame Member
LAUSANNE, Switz., Sept. 1—With great sadness, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) announces the passing of Max W.F. Geuter (MH, GER) on August 27, 2018. Born on September 16, 1937 in Aachen, Germany, Mr. Geuter was a member of the FIE Hall of Fame.
Mr. Geuter was an Olympian and a lifelong member of fencing. He served as a member of the FIE Executive Committee from 1993 to 2016, and vice president of the organization from 2000 to 2004; he was also elected as a Member of Honour by the 2000 FIE Congress.
Mr. Geuter served as a member of the FIE Refereeing Commission from 1985 to 2004. From 2013 to 2016, he represented the Executive Committee on the FIE Veterans Council. He was then nominated as a member of the same council, and then elected president.
From 1996 to 2005, Mr. Geuter was the first vice president of the European Fencing Confederation, and became its secretary-general from 2005 to 2017.
A World Fencer. A fencer in all three weapons (foil, epee and sabre), Mr. Geuter took part in five Fencing World Championships and three Olympic Games. He competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games under the Unified Team of Germany, and again at the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Games on the epee team from West Germany.
Mr. Geuter loved sports. He began his life with gymnastics, athletics and handball, only later to begin fencing in 1954 when he moved to Frankfurt. In his club, Frankfurter TV 1860, he benefited from various fencing masters who pushed him to become German epee champion in 1963. He then moved to the United States for more than a year in the mid-1960s, where he was permitted to fence in two United States fencing championships; he won the 1966 U.S. foil championship and finished fifth in epee.
Together with many top coaches, Mr. Geuter achieved 284 medals for Germany at the Olympic Games as well as World and European Championships.
Service to Fencing. When Mr. Geuter retired from competitive fencing, he took on multiple roles as a member of the German Fencing Federation: He was responsible for referees; he oversaw the men’s epee team; and was vice president of elite sports and foreign affairs.
Mr. Geuter became an international fencing referee in all three weapons after successfully passing the examination in Mexico City, and he officiated at multiple Olympic Games and World Championships. He also participated as a delegate of the Refereeing Commission at the Olympic Games, World Championships and Asian Games, and over the years was the examiner for hundreds of referee candidates.
He served as a member or president of the directoire technique at multiple World Championships, took an active role in the renaissance of the European Championships and was responsible for the organization of several other events, including the 10th Arab Games. He managed and directed numerous referee examinations and seminars.
One of his most impressive achievements was the creation of veteran fencing in the FIE, beginning with a men’s epee-only championship in Cape Town, South Africa in 1997, and increasing over the years to include all weapons and both genders, as well as multiple categories and age groups.
A Life of Fencing. Mr. Geuter’s motivation was inspired in part by the following: “Not one hour in your life you spent with sport is lost." Derived from a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, these words fit him in his active time as a sportsman as well as in his later years as an official.
Mr. Geuter dedicated his entire life to sports and fencing, performing a remarkable number of functions and roles, and achieving outstanding results for fencing worldwide. He continually gave the best of himself and devoted his extraordinary talents to the cause of fencing.
The FIE and the sport of fencing overall have lost a great professional, one of its dearest members and a great friend who was appreciated, respected and admired by all.
We extend our most sincere condolences to Mr. Geuter’s family and friends and to the German Fencing Federation, and we ask them to accept our most heartfelt sympathies during this difficult period.