National Geographic : 1996 Jul
BOXING Winner of 63 pro fights-49 by knock out-Joe Louis reigned as world heavyweight champ for nearly 12 years starting in 1937. Evidence of boxing dates back 6,000 years. FENCING Swordplay as a performing art came into vogue-along with classical ballet-among Renaissance European aristocrats. This 1939 tournament took place in Monte Carlo. SHOOTING Supine has long been a favorite position for marksmen aiming for steady shots. Sharpshooters com peting at the 1900 Olympics in Paris used live pigeons for targets. MOUNTAIN BIKING Armed with off-road bikes, Swiss troops train for war. The mountain biking boom began in California during the 1970s. This year it be comes an Olympic sport.