Women's Sabre Teams: No Medal For You

Russia's Sofya Velikaya (left) fences against South Korea's Kim Ji Yeon in their sabre gold medal bout Wednesday. Because of a limit on medals, there is no women's team sabre title at the London 2012 Games. i i

hide captionRussia's Sofya Velikaya (left) fences against South Korea's Kim Ji Yeon in their sabre gold medal bout Wednesday. Because of a limit on medals, there is no women's team sabre title at the London 2012 Games.

Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images
Russia's Sofya Velikaya (left) fences against South Korea's Kim Ji Yeon in their sabre gold medal bout Wednesday. Because of a limit on medals, there is no women's team sabre title at the London 2012 Games.

Russia's Sofya Velikaya (left) fences against South Korea's Kim Ji Yeon in their sabre gold medal bout Wednesday. Because of a limit on medals, there is no women's team sabre title at the London 2012 Games.

Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

It's hard to find a discipline that Team USA has dominated more than the women's sabre. The team is anchored by two-time medalist Mariel Zagunis. And before Zagunis was upset in the bronze medal match Wednesday, five of the six medals that had been awarded since 2004 went to Americans.

So, it would seem that the women's saber team event would be a natural opportunity for the USA to pick up another medal in London. There's just one problem: There is no women's sabre team event in this year's Olympics.

Brimming with indignity upon learning this outrageously anti-American fact, I went straight to Nicole Jomantas, the communications manager for USA Fencing.

Here's the deal:

The USA petitioned the International Olympic Committee to include women's sabre — both team and individual — as an event for the 2004 games. The IOC agreed, but on the condition that fencing not be allotted any more total medals than the 10 it already awarded. That means that at each Olympics, there is one team fencing event for the men, and one for the women, that are left uncontested.

This year, there will be no women's team sabre, and no men's team epee; the cast-off event rotates every quadrennium.

There is also no mixed team back-to-back repelling of hordes of onrushing hired goons, whilst exchanging witty banter in between occasionally rappelling down ostentatious drapery.

Team USA's official spokesperson declined to comment on that particular injustice.

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