article by Nicholas Pucci
When he shows up at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Giulio Gaudini, from Rome, is almost 32 years old and has a respectable Olympic palmares. Indeed, the blue fencer he has already collected a gold in the team foil and a bronze in the individual event at the 1928 Amsterdam Games, and three silvers and a bronze four years later in Los Angeles, in 1932, in team and individual saber twice second, in team and individual foil second and third. In short, he already has six Olympic medals around his neck, but in Germany he completes the collection and deserves that individual consecration that he has always pursued.
Effectively foil is Gaudini’s favorite specialty, which after winning the team event beating France and Germany on 5 and 6 August presents himself at the start of the individual competition at the House of German Sports of Berlin.
In the absence of the title holder, Gustavo Marzi, the favorite seems to be the French Andrè Gardere, which snatched the European title from Gaudini in 1935. Also present are the American Joseph Levis and the German Erwin Casmir, who took silver in Los Angeles and even earlier in Amsterdam, while the other Gardere brother, Edouard, is a worthy contender for medals, as is his compatriot Renè Lemoine , and the blues Gioacchino Guaragna and Giorgio Bocchino, a 23-year-old Florentine.
The favorites advance as a block, easily passing the elimination rounds which see Gaudini win five out of six matches on his debut (defeated only by the Czechoslovakian Kirchmann), three out of four in the second round (the only knockout against the Austrian Losert), four out of four in the quarterfinals, six out of seven in the semifinals (beaten by the Belgian Raymond Bru).
Eight athletes will therefore appear in the finalall the best except for Lemoine, Levis and the British Lloyd, already sixth in Los Angeles: there are the blues Guadini, Guaragna and Bocchino, the French brothers Andrè and Edouard Gardere, the German Casmir and the two Belgians Bru and de Bourguignon.
Gaudini proves superior to the competition by winning all seven of his bouts, with a decisive 5-3 with Edouard Garderewho excellently replaces his brother in difficulty, finally closing on the second step of the podium. Gaudini finally wins the gold medal in the individual foil event and Italy completes the excellent team result with the bronze medal from Giorgio Bocchinowho closes with four victories like the German Casmir but precedes him in the standings, despite losing the direct match 5-4, for a better quotient between hits given and hits conceded, 28-22 against 31-29.
For Giulio Gaudini, who between 1929 and 1935 collected 16 medals at the International Championships, a sort of fencing World Championships that will be officially established starting from 1937 and in which the Roman champion will be gold in the saber team event in Piestany , in Czechoslovakia, in 1938, it is therefore time to enter definitively among the greats of Olympia. And the recognition seems truly deserved.