Our Head Coach
To fencers and parents
Coach Li's Column on New Star Times (in Chinese)
Our Head Coach Huahua Li is a renowned legend among Chinese fencers. Although she showed athletic talent at a very young age, Huahua had no plan to be a professional athlete until she came across sport fencing by coincidence when she was 15. She fell in love with this sport that is also known as "physical chess" and was drafted by the Chinese National Team after a short period of time. Despite of difficulties such as slight build and lack of her own coach, with her resilient mind and smart brain, Li strode from having very limited knowledge about fencing to one of the leading athletes on the national team. She represented China in two Olympics，and won two gold medals, one individual and another team, in the 10th Asian Games in 1986. She was also awarded the "Miss Fencer" title at the 1987 Summer Universiade in Yugoslavia. Li is also several-time gold medalist at Chinese National Fencing Championships.
After the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul，Li decided to retire from Fencing. After experiencing sweats and injuries as well as trophies and honors, she chose a very different life: studying in the university, becoming a career woman, a wife and a mother of two. She showed her versatile talents and became known in the community as a florist, a singer, and a writer. Many did not know she was once an international champion fencer.
Once again, coincidence struck. This time, not only did it make Li pick up the sword again, she also founded Huahua Fencing in Toronto. Looking back after a few years, Li realized it was all connected. This actually worked out perfectly - it combined the two things she loved - sport fencing and children. She devotes her time and energy to the children. Not only does she teach them fencing techniques, more importantly she teaches them how to be a good person: how to face the challenges, do not accept status quo, never give up and give their very best. She says "You cannot be guaranteed the champion in a particular competition, but if you have the attitude and spirit of what it takes to be a champion, you will be sure to become a champion in your everyday life."
After years of hard work, Huahua Fencing has become an influential entity in North America fencing. It has trained a number of fencers, including Pan Am Champions, National Champions, and many national team members. Many fencers from HHF are admitted to world renowned universities in Canada and the US such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard. HHF has become an inspiration among fencers and in the community. HHF has become more successful, and much busier. And yet, at HHF, whether it is the group lesson or private coaching, you always have a good chance seeing Coach Li busy working. Her dream is through her fencing training to get more and more youth to become stronger physically and mentally, get them fully appreciate and experience the spirit of sportsmanship, so that they can overcome their obstacles and difficulties, apply their creativity and wisdom, and thus, become champions in their lives.