Armitage, Norman C.

17 US sabre titles

(1907-1972) - AFLA National Sabre Champion [1930, ’34, ’35, ’36, ’38, ’39, ’40, ’41, ’42, ’45); National Outdoor Sabre Champion (1929, ’30, ’32, ’33, ’35, ’39, ’40). Member, US Olympic team (1928, ’32, ’36, ’48, ’52, ’56). Finalist in Olympic sabre individual (1932) - finished ninth. Member, Olympic bronze medal-winning sabre team (1948). Carried the US. Flag in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics (1952,’56). IFA sabre champion for Columbia (1928).

normanˍarmitage1.jpgNorman Armitage (Fencing.  Born, Albany, NY, Jan. 1, 1907; died, New York, NY, Mar. 14, 1972.)  One of the greatest sabremen ever produced in America, Dr. Norman Cudworth Cohn Armitage was the U.S. champion in his weapon 10 times indoors and 7 times outdoors for a total of 17 titles in 16 years.  His career was so distinguished that Armitage was twice chosen as the standardbearer for U.S. squads at the Olympic Games, carrying the flag in the opening ceremonies in both Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956). Armitage began fencing as an undergraduate at Columbia and made the U.S. squad for the 1928 Olympiad at Amsterdam.  He was to appear in every Summer Olympics held in the next 28 years (1936, 1948, 1952, 1956). 

After his graduation in 1927, Armitage did graduate work at Columbia to earn degrees in science and chemical engineering.  He won his first national championship in sabre in 1930.  Armitage is the only fencing Olympian to compete for the US under 2 different names.  He was born Norman Cudworth Cohn and later changed his name to Armitage.  He was the indoor national individual champion in 1934, 1935, and 1936 while earning a law degree at New York University, which was granted in 1937.  Two years later, he won his fifth indoor national sabre title. 

Armitage was a member of the U.S. national three-weapon championship teams for the Fencers Club of New York four times (1929, 1932, 1933, and 1935), the team sabre champions in 1934 and the team epee champions in 1939.  In 1940, he began a run of four straight indoor individual national titles in sabre and, after losing the final in 1944, won his 10th and final indoor individual championship in 1945.  In 1948 at the London Olympics, Armitage achieved the elusive Olympic medal as the US Men’s Saber team won the Olympic Bronze.

 

 

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