The Athlete of the 1920 Games was Nedo Nadi of Italy, who swept the gold medals in the five fencing events, a feat still unequalled. Until swimmer Mark Spitz came along in 1972 and won seven, Nadi held the record as the athlete to win the most gold medals at any Olympics.
According to SportsReference.com:
“Nedo Nadi was lucky in the foil event. He won ten of his eleven final parties, but lost to Roger Ducret of France. With Ducret only having to beat the last-placed fencer in the pool, he was expected to win the gold, and Nadi withdrew crying. In his euphoria, Ducret failed to concentrate for his last match and was beaten by Speciale of Italy, leaving first place for Nadi.”
Nadi’s younger brother Aldo won four medals at the 1920 Games. He shared three team golds and won the silver, behind Nedo, in the sabre competition.
The Nadi brothers and others benefited from Hungary being banned from the Games, because the Hungarian fencing team traditionally was a strong competitor.
The Nadis turned pro after the Olympics.