Fencing: Romain Cannone confirms his elite status

Thursday, 3 august 2023

The 26-year-old French épée fencer, supported by BPCE Financial Services, once again mounted an international podium at the World Championships in Milan after winning Olympic and world medals. Continued success such as his at the highest level is the hallmark of a great champion.

An Olympic title that owes nothing to chance 

It’s clear that you don’t become an Olympic champion by chance; only great athletes achieve that honor on the day of the finals. But it can sometimes come as a surprise, as Romain Cannone discovered when he became Olympic champion in Tokyo 2021. The fact that he hadn’t thought to bring his regulatory outfit on the day to receive his medal on the podium is proof of this! But, since then, he has consistently proved that he fully deserved this Olympic title. The most convincing demonstration came the following year, when he was crowned World Champion. Season after season, he continues to mount the podiums of the most prestigious competitions.

And, once again, at the 2023 World Fencing Championships in Milan where he reached the podium once again, this time in 3rd place, in the individual épée event after displaying some fine fencing, the kind that suits him with a style that’s inventive, instinctive and creative. Then, with his fellow members of the French team, he reached the final of the team competition, only to be beaten by the Italians, egged on by the cheers of their home crowd. 

A Ukrainian coach 

Although Romain Cannone, supported by BPCE Financial Services, is the heir to a long line of great French épée champions (without doubt the finest genealogy in the world!), he was trained in the United States, in New York. He divided his time between his parents’ macaroon shop and fencing, alternating between taking lessons from the Ukrainian fencing master Michael Mokretsov and helping his parents in their pastry store.
When it came to fencing, the Americans didn’t want him, so Romain decided to cross the Atlantic. And it was by sheer determination that he came to France to take his destiny in hand and enter the INSEP training institute in the outskirts of Paris where he became a member – and the current leader – of the French national team: an exceptional itinerary for an equally exceptional champion who, next year, will be one of the major Olympic medal hopefuls – even Gold, perhaps! – of the French delegation in Paris 2024…