Tokyo Paralympian Ellen Geddes (left) fenced in Hungary in November. (Photo credit: Augusto Bizzi.)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The world’s best parafencers are headed to the Washington, D.C., area this month for the first international wheelchair fencing competition held in the United States in 20 years.
And it gets better: Members of the public are invited to stop by to cheer on Team USA.
From Jan. 14–17, 2023, the United States will welcome the world to the 2023 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup, held at the National Conference Center in Loudoun County, Va. (18980 Upper Belmont Pl, Leesburg, VA 20176)
More than 100 fencers from 26 different countries are expected to compete over the course of the four-day competition, with action in all three fencing weapons: epee, foil and saber.
“The opportunity to host a domestic parafencing World Cup has been long in the making,” says Lauryn DeLuca PLY, a USA Fencing board member and 2016 Paralympian. “I had grown up in the fencing world seeing able-bodied World Cups held domestically. I remember telling myself, ‘one day, one day.’ That ‘one day’ will be in January. This will be a pivotal moment for USA Fencing as a whole as parafencing will get its chance to shine on American soil.”
USA Fencing CEO Phil Andrews says the tournament is a major part of USA Fencing’s push to welcome more athletes into the sport of parafencing.
“Visibility is vital in sports — especially adaptive sports like parafencing,” he says. “With the 2028 Summer Paralympics in Los Angeles on the horizon, we have an exciting opportunity to grow parafencing in this country. But to do so, we must provide opportunities for people to see this fascinating, fast-paced sport for themselves.”
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