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USA Fencing Welcomes the World to the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Loudoun County, Va.

01/04/2023, 12:45pm CST
By Bryan Wendell

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 Leesburg, Va.

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.”

Fast Facts

  • Tournament Name: 2023 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup
  • Dates and times: Jan. 14–17, 2023
    • Competition begins each day at 9 a.m. and continues until medal ceremonies around 6 or 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: National Conference Center, 18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg VA 20176 US
  • Admission for Spectators: Free
  • Live Coverage: Follow @USAFencing and @wheelchairfencing on Instagram
  • Live Video: Tune in to the IWAS YouTube channel for live coverage including live touch-by-touch commentary of semifinals and finals bouts! 

Key Storylines

  • Lots on the line: Fencers at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Washington will earn points toward qualification for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. 
  • Representing the Stars & Stripes: Team USA will bring a full squad to D.C., including Ellen Geddes PLY, a Tokyo Paralympian who will compete in front of a home crowd on the international stage for the first time in her career. Geddes has earned six IWAS medals in 2022 and will look to continue her solid form.
  • Making history: This is the first IWAS World Cup hosted in the United States since 2003 in Atlanta.
  • Spectators welcome: The tournament is free and open to the public

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