Kelleigh Ryan has always wanted to represent Canada, ever since she was a young soccer player. Not good enough to make the national soccer team, she turned her focus to fencing once she realized she was pretty good at that sport. Ryan first competed at the Pan American Championships in 2008 and has helped the women’s foil team win silver at the event every year since as well as at the 2011 Pan Am Games. She also earned an individual silver at the 2014 Pan Am Championships. In her five FIE World Championship appearances, Ryan has a career-high individual placement of 22nd in 2011. She achieved a career highlight at the 2014 Worlds when she upset a former world championship finalist. While attending Carleton University, Ryan was named the school’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2010.
Family: Father Robert Ryan and mother Rianne Mahon… Getting into the Sport: Started fencing at age 10… Was always encouraged to have a sport for every season and when she didn’t enjoy karate she was looking for something else and saw fencing on TV; didn’t know if she liked it at first but stuck with it to stay out of karate… Other Interests: Earned Master of Arts in Political Science at Carleton University… Enjoys reading, watching TV, being at the cottage… Coaches after school fencing programs, is a personal trainer, and works behind the desk at her strength and conditioning gym to help pay for fees… Odds and Ends: Favourite quote: “I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan… Nickname: Smelleigh Lion… Inspired by Sherraine Schalm for being the best Canadian fencer ever and an awesome person… Eats pasta the night before competing and then pizza and red wine after the competition to remind herself she is human…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
PAC: 2014 – SILVER (ind foil), SILVER (team foil); 2013 – 15th (ind foil), SILVER (team foil); 2012 – 10th (ind foil), SILVER (team foil); 2011 – 6th (ind foil), SILVER (team foil); 2010 – 12th (ind foil), SILVER (team foil); 2009 – 7th (ind foil), SILVER (team foil); 2008 – 10th (ind foil), SILVER (team foil)
PAG: 2011 – SILVER (team foil)
FIE WCh: 2014 – 32nd (ind foil), 11th (team foil); 2013 – 37th (ind foil), 7th (team foil); 2011 – 22nd (ind foil), 8th (team foil); 2010 – 60th (ind foil), 14th (team foil); 2009 – 52nd (ind foil), 12th (team foil)