|Ottawa Fencing/Toronto Fencing Club
If you met Eleanor Harvey on the street, your first guess probably wouldn’t be Olympian. The Ohio State psychology and gender studies graduate exudes energy and confidence, but the vegan yogi who started a business upcycling clothing would fit your first impression. But nevertheless, the conversation wouldn’t last long before her love of all things fencing would shine through. All it takes is a little bit of interest to discover that Eleanor is a consummate athlete who possesses all the tools to achieve her goal of one day bringing Canada an Olympic gold in foil.
Eleanor Harvey was born in Hamilton, Ontario, to parents Ken Harvey and Lise Graydon. Although her parents were active triathletes, it was a family friend recommending fencing that got 10 year-old Eleanor onto the path that would one day bring her to compete at both the Rio and Tokyo Games. From early in her career Eleanor exhibited some of the skills that would bring her titles at the NCAA (2016) and Pan-Am Championships (2022). Her abilities to slip away from an opponent’s point and make sure her tip finds purchase even at unusual angles coupled with a deep well of tenacity and grit have led Eleanor to medal at Junior World Championships, and even at Senior Grand Prix (Incheon, 2022; Shanghai 2018) and World Cups (Poznan, 2022; Guadalajara, 2022). Eleanor is also an athlete that draws strength from those around her; she cites her teammates as her role models, and recounts their team win at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto as her favourite fencing memory. One of her three tattoos is shared with former Ohio State and Team Canada teammate Alanna Goldie.
And all this unfettered passion Eleanor has for the sport is something she is already giving back. On top of her twice-a-day sessions working with coach Alex Martin in Calgary, Alberta, Eleanor takes time to pass on knowledge to the next generation of fencers at the Epic Fencing Club. Which works out well, as she intends to pursue that after she hangs up her own foils, and Canada could not be more lucky for it.