You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Gillian Sheen

Gillian Sheen

Full name: Gillian Mary Sheen (-Donaldson)
Gender: Female
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
Weight: 141 lbs (64 kg)
Born: August 21, 1928 in Willesden, Greater London, Great Britain
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Fencing

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Since 1906, when the first British Olympic fencing team arrived in Athens aboard Lord Howard De Walden’s private yacht, until 1956, Britain could claim six silver medals in Olympic fencing events; for the successive Games (1906-1912) the team finished second in the team épée and then Gladys Davies (1924), Muriel Freeman (1928) and Judy Guinness Penn-Hughes (1932) won three successive silver medals in the women’s individual foil. In 1956, 50 years after first competing in the Olympic fencing program, Britain finally won a gold medal due to the efforts of Gillian Sheen, a 28-year-old dental surgeon from University College Hospital, London. Gilllian Sheet first took up the sport at North Foreland School in Kent and won the British Schoolgirls title in 1945, the British Junior Championship in 1947 and her first British senior title in 1949. On leaving school, she attended London University, winning the British Universities title for five years a gold medal at the World Universities Championship in 1951. She made her Olympic début in 1952 and was eliminated in the second round but four years later in Melbourne she was the surprise winner of the gold medal. She edged into the final by defeating the world champion, Lídia Dömölky-Sákovics of Hungary, in a barrage to decide the fourth place in her semi-final pool. In the final Sheen lost her first bout to Olga Orban-Szabo of Romania but won her other six bouts to finish equal first with the Romanian. The gold medal was decided on a barrage between these two and, as Orban had already beating the English girl in the opening bout of the final pool, the Romanian started as favorite. However, Sheen quickly moved into a 3-1 lead and although Orban pulled back 3-2, in a decisive attack Sheen scored another hit to win 4-2. Gillian Sheen went on to win the British Empire and Commonwealth title in 1958 (in 1954 she finished second and in 1962 she finished fifth) and in 1960 she won her tenth and final British championship. Later in 1960 she competed in her third Olympics in Rome when she was eliminated in the second round. Britain’s only Olympic fencing gold medallist continued competitive fencing until 1963 and then, as Mrs. Donaldson, she settled in New York where she joined her husband in a dental practice.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Fencing Women's Foil, Individual Great Britain GBR 6 p1 r2/4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Women's Foil, Individual Great Britain GBR 1 Gold
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Women's Foil, Individual Great Britain GBR 4 p3 r2/4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Women's Foil, Team Great Britain GBR 3 p2 r1/4

Women's Foil, Individual

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result BW BL TR TG TD
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool One 6 1952-07-26 1 4 18
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool One 3T 1952-07-26 2 3 15 13
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool 1T 1956-11-29 6 20 26
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Barrage for 1/2 1 1956-11-29 1 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool Two 4 1956-11-29 2 13 13
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool 2 Barrage for 4/5 1 1956-11-29 1 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 6 10 27
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #1 2 1956-11-29 Orban-Szabo (ROU) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #2 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Garilhe (FRA) 3 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #4 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, York-Romary (USA) 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #7 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Delbarre (FRA) 3 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #11 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Lachmann (DEN) 3 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #16 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Müller-Preis (AUT) 3 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Bout #22 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Colombetti-Peroncini (ITA) 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Final Pool Barrage for 1/2 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Orban-Szabo (ROU) 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool Two 2 1956-11-29 Delbarre (FRA) 4, Sheen (GBR) 1 1
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool Two 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, York-Romary (USA) 0 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool Two 2 1956-11-29 Orban-Szabo (ROU) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool Two 2 1956-11-29 Dömölky-Sákovics (HUN) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool Two 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Roldán (MEX) 1 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Pool 2 Barrage for 4/5 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Dömölky-Sákovics (HUN) 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 2 1956-11-29 Orban-Szabo (ROU) 4, Sheen (GBR) 3 3
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Garilhe (FRA) 2 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Lachmann (DEN) 1 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Rastvorova (URS) 3 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Goodrich (USA) 0 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Nyári-Kovács (HUN) 0 4
1956 Summer 28 Melbourne Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Three 1 1956-11-29 Sheen (GBR) 4, Hardon (AUS) 0 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 4 1960-08-31 3 3
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 2 1960-08-31 Delbarre (FRA) 4, Sheen (GBR) 3 3
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 2 1960-08-31 Pawlas (POL) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 2 1960-08-31 Orb-Lazăr (ROU) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Dömölky-Sákovics (HUN) 1 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Kleijweg (NED) 2 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Pool Three 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Appart (BEL) 2 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight 2 1960-08-31 3 2
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight 2 1960-08-31 Botbijl (NED) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Jeftimijades (YUG) 2 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Rossini (LUX) 2 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Baxter (AUS) 1 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight 2 1960-08-31 Veronnet (FRA) 4, Sheen (GBR) 3 3
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight Barrage 1 1960-08-31 2 0 0 8
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight Barrage 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Veronnet (FRA) 0 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Eight Barrage 1 1960-08-31 Sheen (GBR) 4, Jeftimijades (YUG) 0 4

Women's Foil, Team

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result MW ML BW BL TBW/TD IBW TD
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 3 1960-09-03 0 2 10 22
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 2 1960-09-03 ROU 12, GBR 4 4 3
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 2 1960-09-03 Orb-Lazăr (ROU) 4, Sheen (GBR) 3 3
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 1 1960-09-03 Sheen (GBR) 4, Mateianu (ROU) 3 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 1 1960-09-03 Sheen (GBR) 4, Vicol (ROU) 2 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 1 1960-09-03 Sheen (GBR) 4, Orban-Szabo (ROU) 3 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 2 1960-09-03 HUN 10, GBR 6 6 2
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 2 1960-09-03 Marvalics-Székely (HUN) 4, Sheen (GBR) 2 2
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 1 1960-09-03 Sheen (GBR) 4, Rejtő-Ujlaky-Sági (HUN) 2 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 1 1960-09-03 Sheen (GBR) 4, Juhász-Nagy (HUN) 1 4
1960 Summer 32 Roma Fencing Great Britain GBR Round One Pool Two 2 1960-09-03 Nyári-Kovács (HUN) 4, Sheen (GBR) 3 3