Canada is known for hockey, it always has been and always will be. But did you know that Canada has three of the top 10 fencers in the world and is the only country with such an award?
Eleanor Harvey is Canadian and took silver at the Korean Fencing Grand Prix in May to improve his world rankings to third place.
In January, Harvey became the first Canadian to reach the Women’s World Cup final, losing in Poland to runner-up Alice Volpi of Italy.
But it was not an easy journey. Before the pandemic, when Harvey struggled with a match and was unhappy with his training, he said she was ready to pack.
“Just before everything comes to a halt because of COVID, [the Canadian team] He qualified for the Olympics. That was my goal, but I didn’t find much luck in the sport then, it was more than a blind commitment to fencing, but I wasn’t too happy about it.” 23 at the time.
So she made the switch by moving west from her hometown of Hamilton to Calgary and training with Alex Martin, the women’s national team coach.
new eyes set
“The turning point was my first lesson with coach Alex. I learned a lot and got to see fencing with new eyes,” said Harvey, 27.
Heading into this year’s World Championships in Cairo on July 15-23, Harvey defeated the world’s 1st and 2nd ranking fencers, as well as most of the top ten fencers.
Harvey isn’t the only Canadian to hit the screens this year.
Toronto’s Jessica Jo (17) finished seventh to win the U-17 World Championship title for the second consecutive time, being the only Canadian to do so. Both Guo and Kelly Ryan, the ninth athlete in the world, qualified for the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup.
Ryan from Ottawa has been a part of the Canadian national fencing team for 14 years, during this time no Canadian fencing has ever won an individual gold medal at the Pan American Championship, and Canada has never won a team competition.
But in June, in Paraguay, Harvey not only won the gold medal by beating the number two Lee Keefer of the US and Tokyo, but also the Canadian women’s team, who defeated the American 45-3 in the final.
“It was surreal to hear our national anthem two days in a row,” said Ryan. “I think we were all shocked. Our team is so close and we work hard. I’m just thankful we spent this moment together.”
Fencing may not make headlines and affect Canadians like any other sport, but Martin says he is not disappointed. He says the Canadian team is going through a season that people might want to see.
“I hope and every fencer wishes that this sport was the sport that everyone was talking about, but I prefer to see it as an opportunity for us because we have a momentum now that was probably impossible to talk about in the past,” said Martin. †
Online Streaming Tournaments
Harvey says it was difficult to talk about screens with friends at first. She said they would come and watch local tournaments and be intrigued and ask all kinds of questions and Harvey said she would tell them it was nothing special, it was something you did every day and it wasn’t fun.
But Harvey has changed with age, saying that when friends ask questions like why the swordsmen lean forward or backward, or have different movement patterns, “I get really excited about it and talk in more detail.”
So the question is, how can screens attract more attention, attract more viewers to your competition and increase your visibility in Canada?
Martin says that if you just want to watch the game, FIFA will try to show all the World Cup matches on YouTube. This opened the door for older people to go out and shut themselves in and discover how cool the sport is.