Photo credit: Griff George
Alexandra Lyn is a second-year juris doctor and master’s in business administration student and a star on the women’s fencing team. A former Canada Games champion and Gee-Gees women’s captain, this fencer is one of Canada’s top competitors in her discipline.
Lyn was about nine years old while vacationing in Europe when she turned on the television to see a fencing broadcast, and was immediately hooked.
“It was almost like fate,” said Lyn. “A new fencing club was being opened in my hometown when I got back, and I decided to join.”
Fencing is divided into three weapon categories: foil, sabre, and épée. Lyn competes in foil, the most common and priority weapon. It means that only one person can receive a point at a time, should a point be awarded.
“In terms of target, the upper body is the target area,” said Lyn. “This includes the upper bib area, which is the lower part of the mask, and it includes your back.”
Lyn trains approximately three times a week. She also enjoys running and weight training, and admits that fencing is a very unbalanced sport.
“You work certain muscles excessively and others less,” said Lyn. “So in order to avoid injury you need to do a full body exercise.”
As with all athletics, it is extremely difficult to receive an education and dedicate yourself to a sport full-time.
“To meet academic goals and life goals, and to train as much as I would like to, there comes a point in time where there has to be give and take,” said Lyn. “Making that choice is difficult.”
Funding for fencing can also be a struggle, but, Lyn was fortunate enough to receive the Ontario’s Athlete Assistance Progam, Quest for Gold scholarship a few times. Fencing can be very expensive, but Lyn is very grateful for her supportive parents, who eliminate a lot of the funding stress.
Lyn says the Ottawa fencing community is very strong, with excellent coaching and clubs. The Gee-Gees women’s foil team has been extremely successful and has won every single competition that they’ve entered this year.
“Our goal as a team going forward is definitely to win the provincial championships next year,” said Lyn. “I certainly think we’re capable of this.”
Lyn admits her favourite part of the entire experience is travelling as a team.
“You have the crowd, your teammates, and parents all cheering you on,” she said. “And it is a great atmosphere to be a part of as a student.”