Mitchell, Maxine

Maxine Mitchell, 4 US Titles, 4th 1952 Helsinki Olympics, after a 4-way tie for 3rd.

” Maxine was a never to be a forgotten personality. Her sense of fun and joviality for everything she did is etched indelibly on my mind. She was so dominant that many women did not like to fence her. You were rarely confused about what she would do, but that didn’t help. Her precision, timing, and above all her ability to see what you were doing, even before you knew what you were doing, made the experience of fencing her unforgettable.

I recall one national championship, I think it was held on the UCLA campus, where she was icing a muscle pull, laughing, having fun, even as she needed two touches to win a close match. she was definitely a “life force”. (She got those two touches.)”

Sud DeLand


Mrs. Maxine Mitchell, 51, a member of the U.S. Olympic women’s fencing team, on the sex tests prior to the Games: “I must admit I was worried for a while. I have four children and eight grandchildren. I wondered what I was going to tell them. ‘Call me grandpa’?”
from Sports IIlustrated

1951 US Women’s Foil Nationals

This photo is a gift from Grant Mitchell, Maxine’s son.

Women’s foil Team for U.S. at the Copenhagen World Championships in 1952.
Standing is Polly Craus and seated from l to r is Paula Sweeney, Jan York Romary and Maxine Mitchell.
Missing from photo is Bess Aboulafia.


Max’s Maxims, by Maxine Mitchell

Basic tactical advice from Maxine Mitchell

If you are winning, don’t change your tactics.

If you are losing, ask yourself “WHY am I getting hit?”

Each motion should have a purpose. Your feint must get a reaction from your opponent.

If you want your opponent to attack, you don’t have to back up.

Fence different opponents in different ways. Don’t use the same tactics for everyone.

To get something from fencing, you have to give something to it in terms of hard work.

You meet many nice people and make many friends, BUT just remember that fencing isn’t everything!

Maxine Mitchell and Torao Mori

Maxine Mitchell and Janice York Romary
This photo is a gift from Grant Mitchell, Maxine’s son

1967 US Pan Am Games Women’s Foil Team

Left to Right: Veronica Smith, Harriet King, Jan Romary, Maxine Mitchell



Coach McKee and his Cavaliers in southern California with Olympian Maxine Mitchell (3rd from right)


photo by Hans H. Teichmann
Maxine Mitchell, photo by Hans H. Teichmann