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Catherine Pym

Full name: Catherine Irene Pym (-Onslow)
Gender: Female
Born: August 9, 1921 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Affiliations: Swords Club, Crows Nest (AUS)
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Fencing


Catherine Pym’s 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 “Game Mistress” 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 Maître d’Armes from the Academie d’Armes.

Pym’s 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 Australia’s first Empire Games medal in women’s fencing. Her next stop was the 1952 Summer Olympics, where she captained Australia’s 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 Australia’s second-oldest living Olympian, behind [Frank Prihoda].


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Summer 30 Helsinki Fencing Women's Foil, Individual Australia AUS 5 p5 r1/4

Women's Foil, Individual

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result BW BL TR
1952 Summer 30 Helsinki Fencing Australia AUS Round One Pool Five 5 1952-07-26 1 4 16
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