Edoardo Mangiarotti, R.I.P.

by Nathaniel Botwinick

Edoardo Mangiarotti, one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history, died on Friday in Milan at the age of 95. He was honored in 2003 by the International Olympic Committee with its Platinum Wreath for winning a total of 39 medals at the Olympics and World Championships. Mangiarotti was an icon in Olympic fencing — his fencing was sleek, stylish, and revolutionized the sport.

He went to 17 Olympics altogether, as an athlete, administrator or spectator. He was determined to make it to the 2008 Games in Beijing even though he had a stroke five months before, leaving him temporarily unable to speak. “While I’m still alive, I will go to the Olympic Games,” he vowed.

He was there.