Laki Dobridis 1921 – 2022

Apostolos Dobridis (*December 5, 1921 in Constantinople), known as “Laki”, passed away on July 05, 2022 at the age of 100 in the City of Constance after a short illness.

….. and followed his wife Anna Maria (†2013) into eternity. They are survived by two daughters, Ariadne and Artemis, and their families.

Laki began foil fencing in 1951 with Maître Pion at the Konstanz Fencing Club. From the very first moment, he was hooked on this magnificent sport, as he described his enthusiasm in his book “SENIOREN – NA KLAR!” published in 2016. From 1963 onwards, he was also involved in voluntary work and took over the post of president of FC Konstanz, which he held for 35 years.

In 1990, the German Fencing Federation appointed him German Veterans Fencing Representative. In the same year, he organized the first veterans’ international match between Germany and Great Britain and founded the German veterans’ national team. He took the first step towards the internationalization of veterans’ fencing.

At the first European Veterans Championships in 1991 in Loughborough (GBR), the nations present founded the European Veterans Fencing Committee (EVFC) and elected Laki as president. He led this association for 16 years and was subsequently appointed EVFC Honorary President.

In the 1990s, Laki made practical contributions to reunification with officials and fencers from East and West Germany through the development of veteran fencing in Germany. In 1994, the German Fencing Federation (DFB) introduced the post of German Veterans Spokesman into its constitution, and participants in the German Championships elected Laki to this new official position. In 1995, he implemented the first German Veterans Team Championships in Dresden and founded the German Veterans Fencing Council in 1997. He thus completed the national championships and the institutionalization of veterans fencing within the German Fencing Federation.

In 1999, he was bidden farewell with a “standing ovation” at the Fencers’ Ball in Bad Dürkheim, and the DFB subsequently awarded him the Golden Badge of Honour for his outstanding services.

Not only as an official, but also as a foil fencer, Laki achieved great successes: in 1981 he won gold for the first time at the German Veterans Fencing Championship, in 1998 silver at the World Masters Games in Portland, and in 1999 and 2001 gold at the European Veterans Fencing Championships in Moulins and Cologne.

The German Fencing Federation has appointed Laki as its honorary member, and he will remain in our honourable memory as an icon of fencing.

Adieu, dear Laki!