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Four-time Canadian Olympian Sherraine Schalm retires after 26 years in fencing

Sherraine Schalm, shown on this June 1999 photo in Ottawa

Julie Oliver/CP

Former top-ranked fencer Sherraine Schalm is retiring after 26 years in the sport.

The four-time Olympian from Brooks, Alta., captured Canada's first world championship fencing medal – a bronze in individual epee in 2005. She topped that in 2009, claiming a silver.

Schalm made her Olympic debut in 2000 in Sydney. Her best Olympic result was fourth in the team event in 2004 in Athens, and her best individual result was ninth in epee in 2008 in Beijing.

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"Fencing changed my life, only and entirely for the better, forming my family and life trajectory in a way I could have never predicted but for which I am extremely grateful," Schalm said Friday in a statement.

Schalm lives in Verona, Italy, with her husband Matteo Ortolina and their daughter Gaia. She chronicled her international fencing career in her 2005 book entitled "Running with Swords."

"Sherraine Schalm is a tremendous athlete who has had an enormous impact on the sport of fencing in Canada," said Canadian Fencing Federation president Brad Goldie. "She has been an inspiration for many and her legacy will continue to impact the sport in years to come."

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