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Saber Tooth Tigresses

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Fencing used to be one of those events that the Europeans owned, and the Americans got their. Tradition does tell. Europeans invented fencing, after all. Even though they exported it to the Americas with the Spanish soldiers, and the Virginia and Maryland colonial gentlemen, and even the Puritans, somehow the genie of the sport kept a toehold on European soil. It seemed like the best we could do was terrific choreographed swordplay in the movies. Oh, and fencing is supposed to be one of those "gay" sports -- I've never figured out why. But times have changed, and we have caught up. Nothing made that clearer than the U.S. women's medal sweep in individual saber today, by Zagunis, Jacobson and Ward. For once, broadcast production values on this sport were good. The NBC commentary was excellent, with slo-mo replays so that TV watchers could get into the lightning-fast action. The women were breathtaking, even though they were covered head to toe in those silvery electrified uniforms and mesh masks and high-tech blades. No need to see abs here.