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Olympian Ed Wright Passes Away

03/22/2017, 10:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Ed Wright at the Empire State Games.

Ed Wright with Coach Giorgio Santelli.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Olympian Ed Wright (Cincinnati, Ohio) passed away on Monday at the age of 67.

Wright fenced in the individual and team foil events at the 1976 Games in Montreal and was a four-time Olympic Festival Team Champion.

Wright competed for more than three decades and continued to fence in the veteran events where he won the Veteran National title in 1996.

“I met Ed for the first time when I was a freshman in college when he was a referee and a contender for the 1976 Olympic Team. He was one of the top foil fencers of that era and made a great impact on future fencers as a coach,” said USA Fencing President Donald K. Anthony Jr. (Columbus, Ohio) “Twenty years after we first met, he moved to Cincinnati where we worked together to develop fencing programs. Ed was a great friend who touched the lives of many and will be truly missed.”

A three-time finalist at the U.S. National Championships, Wright finished in a four-way tie for first place in 1976 with future Olympians Ed Ballinger (Buzzards Bay, Mass.), Ed Donofrio (Ashburn, Va.) and Michael Marx (Concord, Mass.) with Donofrio taking the gold.

Wright would go on to compete at the Montreal Games with Donofrio and Ballinger who told the following story of his old teammate and friend: “Ed was a generous soul. One day, years ago, we pulled into a gas station to fill up. A man walked up to the car window saying that he wanted to sell his watch for gas money. Ed gave him $10 for a $5 watch.”

Wright was a former student of legendary coach Giorgio Santelli (New York City, N.Y.) who later joined the coaching ranks himself. The New York native who attended New York City Community College relocated to Ohio where he spent nearly two decades coaching in Cincinnati and was the head coach of the Cincinnati Fencing Academy.

Additional details regarding services will be posted as they are made available.

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