Mary Glen-Haig

Mary Glen-Haig
Personal information
Birth nameMary Alison James
Born(1918-07-12)12 July 1918
Islington, London, England
Died15 November 2014(2014-11-15) (aged 96)
United Kingdom

Dame Mary Alison Glen-Haig, DBE (née James; 12 July 1918 – 15 November 2014) was a British fencer who competed in four Olympic games in 1948, 1952, 1956 and 1960. She was born in London, the daughter of William James, a fencer at the 1908 London Olympics. She began competing professionally in 1937 and continued until 1960, during which time she won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and competed in four Olympics in the women's individual foil events. She was the first female member of the International Olympic Committee and was created a dame in 1993. After London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics in 2005, she was active as the host nation's ambassador to the games.

Early life

Glen-Haig was born Mary Alison James on 12 July 1918 in London.[1] Her father, William James, was a competitor in fencing at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. Her brother and sister took up tennis, like their mother. Her interest in fencing arose from time spent with her father, and she often trained and practised with him.[2][3]

She began participating in regional and world championships in 1937 and continued to be active in these tournaments until 1959. She first qualified for the Olympic Games in 1948, the second time that they were held in her hometown of London. The evening before she was to participate in these games, she was still working at King's College Hospital, as there was no true Olympic Village at these games.[2][3]

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