Dan Magay is a Hungarian-born Olympic Gold medal winning sabre fencer. An individual finalist at the 1954 World Championships, he was selected for the Hungarian team 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
During the Olympics, Magay, along with many other Hungarian athletes, decided not to return to Hungary as the Soviets had cracked down after the failed Hungarian revolution. Magay came to the San Francisco Bay Area and studied at UC Berkeley. He won the US National Individual Sabre title three times, was twice US Team champion with the Pannonia Athletic Club and represented the US at the 1963 World Championships. He retired from fencing in 1966 and took up skiing.
At some point I will outgrown my available storage. It’s not in any way imminent, but down the road it will be something to deal with. Storage space wasn’t a consideration when I began to purchase relatively low cost university annuals on Ebay.
My first introduction to Ferenc Marki was at the 1978 Junior College Championships for Northern California. Maestro Marki called us all together at the start of the Men’s Team Foil to explain the format and strip assignments. He spoke for a good 15 minutes and I didn’t understand a single word that he said.
The mystery to me today is fencing master John Mckee from Southern California who trained hundreds and hundreds of fencers over decades. For all the people he taught and all the times he was in the paper, it’s his nature and character that I can’t get a handle on.
As many times as I’ve mentioned the Halberstadt Scrapbooks on this website over the years, I was shocked to realize that I have not, until now, written a defining story about what they are and (to me, at least) their significance.
As a member of the Hall of Fame committee for USA Fencing, I get a chance to participate in the annual ritual of determining, in the fairest way possible, who is to be considered for inclusion into that prestigious body. But in the long run, just like every member of USA Fencing, I only get one vote.
Some months ago, I paid a visit to UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library to look at a collection of scrapbooks donated to the library upon the passing of long-time Cal fencing master Julius Palffy-Alpar. Harold Hayes of the Pacific Fencing Club had told me of their existence and agreed to meet me there to get a look at the books.
These snapshots were taken at the 1963 US National Championships held at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The event ran flawlessly, “…a fact that we have come to expect from Southern California and its Chairman, Fred Linkmeyer.”
The 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia comes up frequently around here. It was, after all, the tournament from which many Hungarian athletes made the difficult decision to not return to their country. The challenging notion of having to make such a fateful...
Regular readers will be familiar with the many tales told herein of Charles Selberg, himself a graduate of SF State (BA ’57, MA ’60). Selberg had his fencing beginnings at SF State under the tutelage of Erich Funke.
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