His second family name, which is Spanish for
"second", should have been "first" actually,
because of his victorious pass through fencing. After a century,
his deeds are still remembered everywhere in the globe.
He not only prestiged the world of fencing. He also practiced
with certain success other disciplines like French boxing, cycling,
and shooting. He kept active for about 40 years, mainly in the
first of the above-mentioned sports.
He became the first Cuban who conquered a gold medal in the
history of Olympic Games. That took place in Paris 1900 when
he easily defeated, barely at the age of 17, his experienced
rivals in the sword modality, notably the local Louis Perrée
in the final match.
He had been born on August 31st, 1883 and it was precisely in
Paris where he could consolidate his abilities in the practice
of fencing, although he had really started in Havana under the
tutorship of his father, Filiberto Fonst.
In a superb display of skillfulness the slender left-handed
fencer won the international championship held in 1904 in Paris,
characterized by the quality of the contenders.
In that same year, he assisted to the third Olympic Games in
Saint Louis, United States, where he was crowned in sword, as
well as in individual and team foil.
His class was such that, 20 years after that and aging 41, he
made it up to quarters of final in the Olympic Games of Paris.
However, not everything was over yet.
He assisted to the first Central American Games Mexico'26 and
won the foil, sabre, and sword competitions. In the second edition,
Havana'30, he won without receiving one single "touché"
in sword and foil. In addition, during the fourth games Panama'38
he conquered the gold medal by teams in sword and the silver
one in foil, and all that at the age of 55.
After that, he presided the Cuban Olympic Committee and had
other responsibilities related to sport. He died in Havana on
September 9th, 1959.