Romary, Janice-Lee (1927—)

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Romary, Janice-Lee (1927—)

American fencing champion and athletic administrator. Name variations: Janice-Lee York. Born Janice-Lee York in San Mateo, California, on August 6, 1927; daughter of Shelby Loren York and Jeanette Adele (Wollmer) York; University of Southern California, A.B., 1949; married Charles Gerald Romary, on November 26, 1953; children: Lisa, Loren, and Charles.

Won ten national championships (1950, 1951, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968); was a member of six Olympic teams (1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968); was the first woman chosen to carry the American flag during the parade of champions in the Montreal Olympics (1968).

Unlike most sports, fencing allows lifelong competition, as Janice Romary's career demonstrates. From 1948 to 1968, she competed for the United States at six Olympic Games and won ten national championships. It may have been her constancy on the scene that caused the 40-year-old Romary to be selected to be the first woman to carry the American flag at an Olympiad, in Mexico City in 1968. Her long experience no doubt also played a role when she was appointed commissioner of fencing for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee in 1984. Romary is a member of the Fencing Hall of Fame.

Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia