Generally considered the first American fencer of international caliber, George Calnan began fencing at the U.S. Naval Academy. While there he was captain of the varsity and brigade champion. At the 1928 Olympics, Calnan passed through three rounds into the épée final, where he placed third and entered a direct-elimination super-final of four. Calnan lost, 13-11, to Géo Buchard of France, the three-time world champion, but he defeated Léon Tom, of Belgium, to win the bronze medal. At the 1932 Olympics, Calnan anchored two medal winning teams and again reached the final in épée individual, finishing seventh. Calnan also captained the U.S. fencing team in Los Angeles and took the oath of participation on behalf of the athletes of all nations. Calnan won nine AFLA individual national championships, and was a member of 14 national championship teams for the New York Fencer’s Club. In 1925, he was a member of four national championship teamst. A career naval officer, Calnan perished in the crash of the dirigible Akron. The year after he died, the AFLA established the George C. Calnan Memorial Trophy for the national three-weapon team championship.