Anita Klüpfel

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAnna Margaretha "Anita"•Klüpfel
Used nameAnita•Klüpfel
Born4 August 1903 in Chelsea, England (GBR)
AffiliationsFechtgesellschaft Basel, Basel (SUI)
NOC Switzerland


Anna Klüpfel, also known as Anita or Anny, was born in Chelsea, London, the youngest of five children, and the only girl born to Johann Georg and Marie Albertine (née Diez) Klüpfel. Her parents, both originally from Germany (her father from Schöningen), were naturalized British citizens and worked as dressmakers in London. The family lived just a five minute walk south from Hyde Park, where the children spent her early years and attended primary schooling. The Klüpfel family moved to Switzerland by the early 1930s, and Anita first became active in the sport of fencing as a member of the Akademischer Fechtclub in Zürich. She moved to Basel in 1939 and joined the local fencing club there, winning her first national title in women’s foil in the following year. Klüpfel successfully defended her title in 1941, but was defeated by Yvonne Bornand in the next year. She won the national women’s title once again in 1945, and also won at an international tournament held in Lugano in June 1946 between Swiss and Italian fencers. However, she was later defeated in October of that year by Maddalena Schiefer of Lugano for the national women’s foil title.

Klüpfel was the runner-up in the 1947 Swiss women’s foil championships held in her hometown of Basel, behind Vera Hagemann, and finished third in 1948, behind Hedwig Rieder and Bornand. In 1948, she represented Switzerland at the Women’s World Championships in Den Haag, and was one of three female fencers selected to represent Switzerland at the London Olympics, alongside her Basel clubmates Hagemann and Rieder. All competed in the women’s foil event, with Klüpfel emerging as the most successful of the three, advancing to the quarter finals.

She was once again a member of the national team in 1950 alongside Rieder, traveling to Monaco to compete at the world championships there. Klüpfel remained active in competition until she was almost 60-years-old, even competing in an international tournament in 1960, with the Neue Zürcher Zeitung affectionately labeling her as the “indestructible old master Klüpfel” in their event recap. Klüpfel was still living in Basel in 1981 when her oldest brother, George, died in the United States.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Fencing SUI Anita Klüpfel
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 6 p4 r2/4