Catherine Pymâs career as an athlete began during her school days, where she was active in numerous sports, including tennis, swimming, and netball. It was fencing, however, in which she maintained a lifelong interest and, in 1940, she acquired a diploma from the Swords Club that qualified her as a âGame Mistressâ certified to teach sport in schools. She travelled to New Zealand to embark upon her teaching career, but returned to Australia in 1942 to be with her family during World War II. Following the conflict, she journeyed to Paris, where she earned the title of MaÃ®tre dâArmes from the Academie dâArmes.
Pymâs first major international tournament was the 1950 British Empire Games, where she won a bronze medal in the individual foil event (the only competition available to women fencers in that era), which was Australiaâs first Empire Games medal in womenâs fencing. Her next stop was the 1952 Summer Olympics, where she captained Australiaâs fencing delegation and was eliminated in the opening heats after losing four of her five bouts. She retired from active competition following the Games and later married accountant Alan Onslow, with whom she lived in numerous Asian countries, as well as the United States and Kenya. Following the death of [Forbes Carlile] in August 2016, Pym was recognized as Australiaâs second-oldest living Olympian, behind [Frank Prihoda].