Team Canada announces fencing team for Paris 2024

Updated May 28, 2024

Team Canada will have one of its largest Olympic fencing teams in recent memory competing at Paris 2024. The strong continent includes three teams competing in women’s foil, men’s foil, and men’s sabre as well as three individual athletes competing in men’s épée, women’s épée, and women’s sabre.

Canada’s women’s foil team has high hopes for this summer’s Games. The team is currently ranked fifth in the world and boasts a roster of accomplished fencers, including Jessica Guo, who won individual women’s foil gold at the 2024 FIE Junior World Championships earlier this month. Guo also won the 2024 NCAA National Championships while representing Harvard University where she is currently enrolled in her first year of pre-med. Earlier this season, the 18-year-old – who has a current top-10 world ranking in women’s individual foil – won bronze at a World Cup in Novi Sad, Serbia, followed by another bronze at a World Cup in Paris, France.

“In Tokyo, I was the youngest on the team and my older teammates were great emotional support for my first Games. In Paris, I’ll no longer be the youngest; therefore, I want to be able to provide the same support and share my experience with my teammates,” said Guo. “I am most excited to step on the Olympic stage with my teammates because the feeling of standing on the strip together will forever be unmatched. I want to leave Paris knowing I fought my hardest and tried my best, leaving with no regrets.”

Guo also won the silver medal in women’s foil at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. She shared the podium with Team Canada teammate Eleanor Harvey, who took bronze. Harvey, already a two-time Olympian, earned Canada’s best-ever Olympic result in an individual fencing event when she placed seventh in her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 and defeated the world’s number one ranked women’s foil fencer. 

Team Canada fencing athlete Jessica Guo shouts in celebration
Jessica Guo of Canada competes against Jacqueline Dubrovich of the United States in Women’s Foil Individual Fencing Quarterfinals during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Monday, October 30, 2023. Photo by Darren Calabrese/COC

Sixteen-year-old Yunjia Zhang will make her Olympic debut at Paris 2024, leaning on her experienced teammates such as Guo and Harvey. Zhang won individual foil bronze at the 2024 FIE Junior World Championships in the cadet women’s category and placed sixth in the junior women’s category.

Blake Broszus and Maximilien Van Haaster return to Team Canada, having contributed to the ninth-place finish for Canada’s men’s foil team at Tokyo 2020. They won silver in the same event at Santiago 2023. Van Haaster also competed in the individual event at Rio 2016. Broszus and Van Haaster will be joined by Daniel Gu, who will make his Olympic debut at Paris 2024.

Team Canada’s squad for men’s sabre is looking to carry forward their momentum from Santiago 2023 into Paris 2024. The team took the gold medal at the Pan Am Games, and team members Fares Arfa and Shaul Gordon also earned bronze medals in the men’s individual sabre. This will be a second Olympic appearance for Gordon, while Arfa and François Cauchon will make their Olympic debuts this summer.

“It’s been a while since Canadian men’s sabre had a team at the Olympic Games and we are working hard to make it memorable,” said Arfa.

Two fencers duel on the piste
Fares Arfa of Canada competes against Eliecer Romero Parra of Venezuela in the Men’s Sabre Individual Semifinals during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Wednesday, November 01, 2023. Photo by Candice Ward/COC

This will be the first time that Canada will field a men’s sabre team on the Olympic piste since Atlanta 1996. Paris 2024 will be the second consecutive Olympic Games in which Canada will compete in both men’s and women’s team foil. The women’s foil team placed fifth at Tokyo 2020, while the men’s foil team finished ninth. 

Canada qualified the men’s foil, women’s foil and men’s sabre teams based on the International Fencing Federation (FIE) world ranking lists, which counted team results from FIE World Cups, FIE World Championships and Continental Championships from April 3, 2023 to April 1, 2024.

Pamela Brind’Amour, who qualified for Paris 2024 via her world ranking, will serve as Team Canada’s lone representative in the women’s sabre. The 31-year-old will make her Olympic debut in Paris after knee injuries sidelined her for much of the Tokyo 2020 qualification period. Brind’Amour has competed for Team Canada at three Pan American Games, including Santiago 2023 where she contributed to the silver medal won by the Canadian women’s sabre team.

Canadian fencer Pamela Brind’Amour raises her arms in celebration
Pamela Brind’Amour of Canada competes against the United States in the Women’s Sabre Teams Finals during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Friday, November 03, 2023. Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/COC

“To wear the maple leaf at the Olympics is something that I dreamt of as a kid. Personally, my goal for the competition is to arrive hungry and ready to compete,” said Brind’Amour.

Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Zhang snagged his spot at his first Olympic Games with a dramatic overtime victory in the final of the FIE Pan American Zonal Qualification Event earlier this month. He was the youngest male athlete on Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Pan American Games delegation, where he contributed to the silver medal won by Team Canada’s men’s épée team.

Another teenager, 16-year-old Ruien (Angel) Xiao, will compete in women’s individual épée. She had been the runner-up at the Pan American Zonal Qualification Event in April, missing out on qualifying for Paris 2024 by one place. But she later received a quota spot in the reallocation process. Xiao won bronze in women’s individual épée at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games and then earned her first FIE World Cup medal in December.

Fencing will take place July 27 to August 4 (Day 1 to 9) at the Grand Palais. 

Canadian fencer Nicholas Zhang shouts in celebration
Nicholas Zhang of Canada reacts after winning his match against Jesus Lugones Ruggeri of Argentina in the Men’s Fencing Épée Individual during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Monday, October 30, 2023. Photo by Darren Calabrese/COC

Team Canada Fencing Athletes at Paris 2024:

Men’s Épée:
Nicholas Zhang (Richmond, B.C.)

Women’s Épée:
Ruien (Angel) Xiao (Markham, Ont.)

Men’s Foil:
Blake Broszus (San Jose, USA)
Daniel Gu (Edmonton, Alta.)
Maximilien Van Haaster (Montreal, Que.)
Bogdan Hamilton* (St. Louis, USA)

Women’s Foil:

Jessica Guo (Toronto, Ont.)
Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton, Ont.)
Yunjia Zhang (Toronto, Ont.)
Sabrina Fang* (Vancouver, B.C.)

Men’s Sabre:
François Cauchon (Montreal, Que.)
Shaul Gordon (Richmond, B.C.)
Fares Arfa (Laval, Que.)
Olivier Desrosiers* (Montreal, Que.)

Women’s Sabre:
Pamela Brind’Amour (Sainte-Martine, Que.)

*team replacement athletes