Fencing Athlete - Inducted 2016
Sherraine Schalm was a dynamic fencing athlete, who loved the mental aspect of the sport. In 2005, she became the first Canadian to win a World Championship fencing medal with a bronze in epee. Sherraine won the Overall World Cup title in 2006 and #1 world ranking. Her career was marked with consistency as she ranked in the top 16 from 1996 to 2011. She was a threat to win gold in every competition. In 2009, she won a World Championship silver medal. Sherraine was a four-time Olympian (2000, 2004, 2008 & 2012). Her memoir Running With Swords was published in 2005.
Sherraine’s interest in fencing started when she was in grade six in Brooks, Alberta and met Alan Nelson, the Jr. High school fencing coach. The sport sparked her interest because “it was different and I just wanted to be around the cool teacher.” When she entered Junior High and was finally allowed to take up fencing, Alan was the one who first taught her how to lunge and parry. He became a lifelong friend and mentor.
Sherraine competed through the ranks, winning at the junior, cadet, then senior levels. As a teenager, she moved to Ottawa to attend university and further her fencing training. During her Olympic years, she lived and trained in France, Hungary, and Italy. While living in Europe, she returned to Brooks and Alberta on a regular basis to work with children to improve their fencing skills and to speak to community groups.
Sherraine retired in 2013 after competing in the sport for 26 years. As Canada's most decorated fencer, her achievements included many provincial and national titles, individual and team medals, and Pan American medals. She won 32 World Cup medals, 12 of which were gold. Her best finish at the Olympic Games was a fourth in the team event in 2000 and ninth in individual epee in 2008.
Of her accomplishments, Sherraine’s qualification for the 2012 Olympics was extra special as she was unranked at the time. After giving birth to her daughter, she had three months to train before the qualifying process began.
Sherraine was a tremendous and determined athlete throughout her career. She survived the pressures of being a world-class athlete with a sense of humour and insightfulness - as seen in the full-length title of her book Running With Swords - The Adventures and Misadventures of an Irrepressible Canadian Fencing Champion. Her contribution to the sport of fencing and her legacy will continue to impact the sport in years to come.
Sherraine Schalm was named Brooks Athlete of the year in 1990. She was honoured with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 2013.