Olympics: Estonia rejoices over gold in fencing

Estonia has won the women's épée fencing gold medal in the team competition at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. But it's not just the team's sporting achievements that are warming the hearts of the nation - and the press.

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Delfi (EE) /

Estonians like you and me

For Andrey Shumakov, editor-in-chief of the Russian-language Delfi, the gold-winning fencers are a microcosm of Estonian society:

“The fencing team is like a cross-section of the country, of the whole society. There are Russian and Estonian women. The members come from different cities: the capital Tallinn, the university city of Tartu, the small, cosy Haapsalu. Erika Kirpu was even born in Moscow, which is not exactly rare among the inhabitants of Estonia. And like the country, the fencers live on very limited means. Do you think there are no conflicts among them? ... But if you have a common goal, you can set aside personal ambitions.”

Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR Online) (EE) /

Much more than sport machines

ERR sports reporter Johannes Vedru is particularly impressed by the versatility and openness of the women:

“They're special. All of our Olympic champions are special. And yet they are people from our lives. Perhaps even 'the girl next door' for many of us. 'We hope we'll be able to go on living normally,' says Julia Belyaeva. That's endearing. What does all of this say about fencing and these women? Think versatility. Think openness. Think love. As a sport, fencing promotes harmony in a person. In an era in which it seems that only those who keep their focus as narrow as possible are successful, the Olympic victory of the women's fencing team gives us hope for a 'Renaissance person'.”