Earlier this month in Paris, Columbia Director of Fencing George Kolombatovich received a breakthrough honor from the Federation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the governing body of international fencing. Kolombatovich was elected president of the Referee's Commission of the FIE for the next four years; he is the first American-born president in the history of the organization.
During the FIE World Congress, Kolombatovich was first re-elected to a second four-year term as a member of the Referee's Commission and later elected by that commission to serve as its president.
"I am extremely honored, first to be re-elected by the 116 member countries of the FIE," said Kolombatovich, "and I am doubly honored to be selected by my peers as president of their commission."
In his four-year term as president, Kolombatovich will be responsible for the selection of referees for all Grand Prix World Cups, the Cadet/Junior World Championships, the Senior World Championships and the 2008 Olympics. A Federation Internationale d'Escrime A-Rated referee, Kolombatovich was first elected by the FIE Congress in 2000 to the Referee's Commission. He is the author of the FIE's first written test for referees and works with referee development and testing. Also a member of the United States Fencing Association Fencing Officials Commission, Kolombatovich wrote the USFA referee instruction manual. He is also a three-time Olympic referee who worked two gold medal bouts in 1996.