Nikki Franke

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameNikki Valerie•Franke (Tomlinson-)
Used nameNikki•Franke
Born31 March 1951 in New York, New York (USA)
Measurements168 cm / 59 kg
AffiliationsLiberty Fencers' Club
NOC United States


Nikki Franke was a pioneer as one of the early African-American women to reach the top level of American fencing. She started fencing her senior year in high school and then attended Brooklyn College, graduating in 1972. Franke was US Champion in foil in 1975 and 1980, runner-up in 1980, and third in 1976-77 and 1979. She won three bronze medals at the Pan American Games, team foil in 1975 and 1979 and individual foil in 1979. She also competed at the 1973 and 1977 Universiade and made the ill-fated 1980 US Olympic team.

Franke started coaching at Temple University after graduating from college, and spent over 30 years at the school as fencing coach. She also earned a masters’ degree there in health education. Franke led the Owls to the NCAA Championship in 1992, placing second in 1987 and 1993, and third in 1985 and 1991. She has led the women’s team to 14 consecutive titles at the NIWFA Meet, and was USFCA Coach of the Year in 1983, 1987-88, and 1991. Franke is a member of the US Fencing Association Hall of Fame and Temple University Athletics Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Summer Olympics Fencing USA Nikki Franke
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 38
Foil, Team, Women (Olympic) United States =9

Special Notes