Shaul Gordon, who was an athlete on the Penn fencing team and graduated in 2016, will be representing Canada this summer at the Olympic Games.
The Israeli native will be competing in the men’s sabre event after earning his selection through his No. 22 position in the International Fencing Federation (FIE) world rankings.
After his freshman year, Gordon transferred from Penn State to Penn and spent the last three years of his collegiate career as a Quaker. In all three of those years, Gordon was an NCAA Championships qualifier, in addition to his first team All-America selection his sophomore year and his second team All-America selection his senior year.
During that senior year, Gordon helped lead the Quakers to a No. 1 national ranking and was also the Ivy League individual sabre champion after notching a 14-1 record at Ivy Round Robins. He finished his Penn career with a cumulative 143-30 dual record.
“We are very lucky and proud to have Shaul on our team,” Penn fencing coach Andy Ma said in 2016. “Every season he does very well and every day he’s the first to show up and last to leave. Besides his dedication he also is very smart, he is so impressive as a person. He is the full package for Penn, as a person and as an athlete.”
Gordon is also no stranger to the international circuit, as he previously represented Canada at two Pan American Games and six FIE World Championships. In 2018, he earned his first career senior individual medal when he won silver at the Pan American Championships. That same year, Gordon achieved gold at an FIE Satellite event located in Belgium.
During the following year, he helped Canada secure a team sabre silver medal and a bronze medal in the individual sabre event at the Pan American Games in Lima.
Gordon first began to fence while in Italy at the age of seven. He became interested in it after watching and reading items of popular culture that piqued his interest in the sport.
“I was seven, and Italy is historically a powerhouse in fencing,” Gordon said in 2016. “I was reading Zorro, watching three musketeers, and I wanted to fence! You get to hit people! That’s why I started to like it.”
After moving to Canada at the age of 10, Gordon continued to engage with fencing and has progressed to the point he’s at now, an Olympic-level competitor.
Gordon will begin his Olympic journey late next month, as the fencing competitions are slated to take place from July 24-August 1.