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FIE Congress Comes to U.S. for the First Time This Weekend in Philadelphia

12/02/2011, 2:15am CST
By No Author

(Philadelphia, Pa.) – For the first time in its 98-year history, the Federation Internationale d’Escrime, the international governing body for the sport of fencing, will be hosting its annual meeting in the United States at the Four Seasons Philadelphia this weekend from Dec. 2-4. More than 230 delegates representing nearly 130 nations have traveled to Philadelphia for this international meeting. 

“This FIE Congress 2011 is the first FIE Congress to be hosted in the USA. Fencing has made great progress in this country in recent years and this event will provide an additional platform to promote our sport here,” said FIE President Alisher Usmanov.    “I would like to thank our hosts from USA Fencing, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Philadelphia Sports Congress for their great efforts in organizing this event.”

This edition of the FIE Congress will decide, among other things, on the adoption of a Coach Council nominated by the FIE Executive Committee to deal with coaching issues. In addition, the FIE will call for candidatures for the Senior World Championships 2014 and the Cadet and Junior World Championships 2013 and 2014 as well as award the 2012 Veteran World Championships.

“All of us at USA Fencing are delighted to welcome the FIE Congress – the largest ever and the first in the U.S. – as its members consider matters of importance to the sport of fencing around the world,” said USA Fencing President Kalle Weeks. “And, as another first, we are especially pleased to be hosting the USA vs. the World fencing match (on Sunday, December 4 at 7 PM at the National Constitution Center), which promises to bring fencing at its best to Philadelphia.”

For Philadelphia and the United States, the FIE Congress presents a unique opportunity to connect with key figures in the Olympic movement and lay the groundwork for more meetings and events in the future. The Congress is a partnership between FIE, the United States Olympic Committee, USA Fencing and the Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Among the sponsors are: Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund; Comcast; National Fencing Foundation of Washington D.C.; Absolute Fencing Gear;; Nike; University of Delaware; Saint Joseph’s University; University of Pennsylvania; Citibank and Philadelphia Eagles.

As the international tourism marketing arm of the City, the PCVB and PSC are focused on continuing to position Philadelphia as a top international destination. Since the PCVB’s efforts began in 2000, Philadelphia has moved from the 21st to the 13th most visited American city.

“We are honored to welcome the FIE Congress to Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The delegates represent high-level sports leadership from around the globe, and we are grateful for the opportunity to host them and showcase our world-class city.” 

A number of private special events will mark the conference, including a Welcome Reception at the Franklin Institute on Friday, Dec. 2 and the FIE Gala at the National Constitution Center on Sunday, Dec. 4 which will include a USA vs. The World fencing match in which the top six fencers in each of the men’s and women’s weapons (epee, foil and saber) will compete in a team event against six of the top fencers in the world. 

For more information on the 2011 FIE Congress, visit

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