If you thought tennis grunting was loud, just wait until you hear fencing screaming. Athletes raise their fists and scream in victory after every blow. It’s a widely practiced by both sexes but just as in tennis, women are by far the worst offenders.
Mariel Zagunis, 2004 and 2008 Olympic sabre champion, told NBC that the outbursts are part excitement and part strategy.
“It’s a combination of the two,” she said. “A lot of the screaming, fist-pumping and foot-stomping does come from being really caught up in the moment, just like in a lot of other sports, like tennis or karate. You get all this emotion bottled up in you, and you do that huge action and the outburst is uncontrollable. It may look scary to people watching, or be unnerving to the opponent, but there are some circumstances when it influences what the referees decide. If you scream with such confidence that you got the point, the referees can be convinced. I have been a part of bouts where it has become a screaming match, to see who can scream louder and influence the referees more.”