The newest recruit to the aquarist team at Bristol Aquarium divides her time between swords and fishes.
Olivia Orchart has been fencing for 11 years. She has won bronze and silver for Wales at the Junior Commonwealth Games in the epee and foil team events.
She was also on the Junior (under 20) GB squad, and competed for Wales as a senior in the Commonwealth Games in 2010. She is currently in training for the 2014 Games in Glasgow.
Most recently she was part of the team representing Wales in the Senior Five Nations.
In addition to her prowess with the blade, she also has a Masters degree in Marine Biology from Bangor University.
“I suppose it is an unusual combination but I have always been fascinated by the natural world and marine life in particular,” said Olivia.
“I really got into fencing properly while I was studying for my Masters at university and , fortunately, I will be able to carry on combining my two great passions in my new job here at the aquarium,” she added.
When she is not fencing, Olivia is a key member of the aquarist team at Bristol Aquarium.
She helps to look after a huge variety of marine life ranging from stingrays and sharks to seahorses, jellyfish and giant Pacific octopus.
Bristol Aquarium park director, David Waines, said: “Although Olivia has only been here for a short while she has already become an integral part of our aquarist team and her expert knowledge of a wide range of marine life is proving invaluable.
“The fact that she is also an international fencer is an added bonus and we’re very proud of her achievements and wish her the very best of luck in getting selected for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,” he added.
Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information and to arrange picture/ filming opportunities please contact Tina Patel, David Waines or Dan de Castro on 0117 929 8929.
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