As a qualifier for the 2017 FIVB World Championships via their international rankings, Saxton and Schalk have placed fifth and 17th in their previous two world finals. Saxton, who also competed in the Rome 2011 world championships, started competing in FIVB-sanctioned events in 2005 as a 16-year old with his first World Tour event being in 2007. Schalk’s first FIVB event was 2010 with his current partnership starting in 2013 after Saxton missed qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games with Christian Redman. As one of six teams in the 2017 world championships with 50 or more FIVB World Tour events to their credit, Saxton and Schalk placed ninth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after participating in the so-called “toughest” pool in the Copacabana Summer Games with pairs from Brazil, Cuba and Latvia. While the Canadians have not won a FIVB World Tour event together, Saxton and Schalk have netted two NORCECA gold medals.