Johan Harmenberg (born 8 September 1954, in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish epee fencer. Harmenberg completed two years of study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1979, leaving his course early (he would have graduated in 1981) before returning to Sweden to pursue his fencing career.[1]

Fencing career

He has won eight individual and/or team epee gold medals at Olympic, World Championships, and World Cup competitions.

World Championships

He earned his World Championship titles in Individual Épée and Team Épée events at the 1977 competitions in Buenos Aires.[2]

He also won a bronze medal in Team Épée at the 1979 World Championships in Hamburg.

World Cups

Harmenberg captured three Individual Épée World Cup Championships within four years: 1977 (Bern), 1979 (Heidenheim), and 1980 (Heidenheim). He also won team titles at the 1977 and 1980 World Cups.


At the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, he won a gold medal in the Individual Épée.[3][4] In three of the final matches he won by only one touch.[5] He is the only Swede to have won an individual gold medal in fencing.[6] Harmenberg was a member of the Swedish épée team as well; the team placed 5th in the team épée competition.

Hall of Fame

Harmenberg, who is Jewish, was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.[7]


Harmenberg co-authored scientific papers entitled "Fencing: Biomedical and Psychological Factors," "Comparison of different tests of fencing performance" (1991), and "Physiological and morphological characteristics of world class fencers" (1990).[8]

Harmenberg has since had a distinguished career in medical pharmacology, publishing a variety of papers relating to viral immunology.[9] After stints as VP of pharmaceutical development at Medivir,[10] Chief Medical officer at Algeta ASA,[11] is currently (2014) Medical Director and VP of clinical development at Axelar AB [12] in Stockholm, Sweden.

Johan co-authored "Épée 2.0: The Birth of the New Fencing Paradigm",[13] and "Épée 2.5: The New Paradigm Revised and Augmented" [14] In these books, he describes the new fencing paradigm that he developed with Maestro Eric Sollee, from MIT, which resulted in his victories and a transformation in how Épée is fenced at the higher levels of competition.


  1. ^ "The Tech, Volume 99, page 11, (, accessed May 1, 2010" (PDF). Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Fencing World Championships, (, accessed May 1, 2010". Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Olympics Statistics: Johan Harmenberg". Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  4. ^ "Johan Harmenberg Olympic Results". Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Johan Harmenberg, – Google Search at the Wayback Machine (archived September 26, 2007)
  8. ^ Archived March 9, 2003, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ ""author:J. author:Harmenberg" – Google Scholar". Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  10. ^ "RP-606 Rights Revert to Medivir, (, accessed May 1, 2010". December 9, 2005. Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  11. ^ Nature Biotechnology (September 1, 2006). "Nature Biotechnology Journal". Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Axelar :: The Team". Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Epee 2.0: The New Fencing Paradigm, by Johan Harmenberg, SKA SwordPlay Books, October 2007, ISBN 978-0978902216
  14. ^ Epee 2.5: The New Paradigm Revised and Augmented, SKA SwordPlay Books, October 2014, ISBN 978-0985444181

External links