(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce Mickey Zeljkovic (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) has been named the Parafencing National Team Coach.
In his role, Zeljkovic is in charge of athlete development in the lead up to the 2020 Paralympic Games and coaching Team USA’s parafencing athletes at the international level.
“It’s a really great honor for me to be leading the parafencing team,” Zeljkovic said. “It means a lot to me because I came to the United States as a wheelchair coach. I got citizenship, so I really want to pay back something to this country and it’s great to work with our athletes.”
With nearly 20 years of coaching experience, Zeljkovic was the head coach of the 2017 Wheelchair World Championship Team and has been involved with the National Team since 2010, assisting with camps as well as coaching at World Cups, Zonal Championships and World Championships.
In 2018, Zeljkovic served as the head coach at the 2018 Americas Championships where Team USA brought home seven medals.
Zeljkovic is also the head coach at Zeljkovic Fencing Academy.
“We definitely want to have more athletes … We have like 20 to 25 athletes in parafencing, and we definitely want to see 50 or 100 parafencers in North American Cups,” Zeljkovic said of his vision for the program. “Of course, the challenge is in front of us: 2020 and 2024 and then the 2028 Paralympic Games. Able-bodied fencers in the U.S. are now doing an amazing job internationally and we want to make our parafencing athletes much, much better to put them on that level. That’s going to be my job in the next couple of years.”