Émile Coste

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameÉmile Louis François Désiré•Coste
Used nameÉmile•Coste
Born2 February 1862 in Toulon, Var (FRA)
Died7 July 1927 in Toulon, Var (FRA)
AffiliationsL’Ecole d'escrime de Joinville
NOC France
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Émile Coste was one of the top amateur foil fencers in the World at the turn of 20th century. In addition to his Olympic gold, Coste won foil at the international tournament organized by Le Figaro newspaper in 1897, and won his bout at the French-Italian match organized by L’Escrime Française newspaper. He also fenced exhibition bouts in front of the King of Greece in 1894, and the Russian navy delegation in 1893.

Born to a military family, his father was a fencing master with French army. Émile followed his father’s footsteps and entered l’École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in 1881. After graduation he served as a lieutenant with the 40th Infantry Regiment and 74th Infantry Regiment, before enrolling in l’École Supérieur de Guerre in 1891.

Promoted to captain, Coste then served with the 139th, 24th and 99th infantry regiments, before working as aide-de-camp to the French minister of war from 1901-04. From 1904-10, by then a Lieutenant-Colonel, Coste was the director of l’École Normale Militaire de Gymnastique de Joinville. He retired from the military with the rank of Colonel and later wrote several textbooks about fencing and physical education. Coste was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1904, an Officer of the Légion d’Honneur in 1916, and a Commandeur of the Légion d’Honneur in 1923.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1900 Summer Olympics Fencing FRA Émile Coste
Foil, Individual, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold