LAUSANNE, Switz., April 4, 2022—The FIE is saddened to learn of the passing of Jose Valarinho (POR), member of the FIE Hall of Fame, on March 30, 2022, at the age of 87. He was a member of the FIE Disciplinary Commission from 1996 to 2004.
He was awarded a special FIE gold medal three times for his academic work on fencing as well as organising the 1988 FIE Congress in Madeira and the 2002 Lisbon World Championships. He also received the Olympic Order of the Portuguese Olympic Committee and the Medal for Sports Merits by the Portuguese government.
Mr. Valarinho was president of the Portuguese Fencing Federation for two terms beginning in 1992. He joined the organisation in 1969 as president of the Technical Commission, and over several decades he had a significant impact on the growth and development of fencing in Portugal. He participated in a “Plan for the Development of Sports” with a special program, “500 Foils”, and worked to support Portugal becoming more active in international fencing.
Mr. Valarinho took part in organising the first European Championships in Lisbon, 1983, as well as multiple other continental and world competitions held in Portugal during the 1980s and 1990s. His vision for Portuguese becoming a strong participant in world fencing was realised fully when his country’s men’s foil team won the gold medal at the 2000 European Championships in Madeira. After his departure from the presidency, he successfully organised the 2002 Lisbon Fencing World Championships.
Having a traditional Portuguese military education, Mr. Valarinho ultimately became an Army officer, and it was during his schooling where he first experienced fencing along with becoming a skilled equestrian. He graduated with honours as a maître at the Military Sports Center in Mafra, where he was a competitive fencer and took part in the 1959 Universiade as a member of the men’s sabre team. Following school, he became a fencing master, specialised in recruiting and developing young fencers.
He was the author of two books on the history of Portuguese fencing and was in the process of preparing a third edition.
“He was a fencer to his dying day”, said his son, Frederico Valarinho, who has been a member of the Portuguese Fencing Federation since 2006.
The FIE extends its sincere condolences to Jose Valarinho’s family and friends, the Portuguese Fencing Federation and the European Fencing Confederation. We express our deepest sympathy to them during this difficult time.