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It’s the Greatest Show on Strips: Summer Nationals 2024 in Columbus

06/21/2024, 2:45pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

This year’s Summer Nationals is set to be the largest (and most exciting) fencing tournament ever. Here are nine reasons to get pumped.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — We had fun in Phoenix and made memories in Minneapolis, but this year’s Summer Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, is shaping up to be the biggest — and the best — fencing event in history.

From June 29 to July 8, the Greater Columbus Convention Center will be buzzing with the energy of more than 6,200 fencers from 45 states and 10 countries. The USA Fencing National Championships & July Challenge, affectionately known as Summer Nationals, will be a fencing festival — a spectacular celebration of fencing talent, camaraderie and fun. 

As we prepare for launch, here are nine reasons to be pumped for Summer Nationals 2024!

1. It’s the Biggest Summer Nationals Ever

This year's Summer Nationals is not only the largest fencing tournament in USA Fencing history but also, we believe, the largest fencing event ever held on earth. With more than 6,200 fencers and 13,200-plus event registrations, the convention center will be abuzz with fencers competing across 105 strips. Last year’s Summer Nationals in Phoenix featured more than 5,300 fencers, meaning this year’s tournament is about 17% larger — a significant milestone for the sport and a testament to its growing popularity.

2. Medals, Championships and World Team Spots Are on the Line

The good news: We’ll award medals to the top 8 finishers in every event. The great news: The winners of our youth, veteran, Division I-A, Division II and Division III events will also earn the right to call themselves 2024 National Champions.

And as if the stakes weren’t high enough, fencers in the Vet 50, Vet 60 and Vet 70 categories will also be competing for spots on the 2024 Vet Worlds team. We’ll send the top four fencers in each weapon and age category to Dubai this October for the 2024 Veteran Fencing World Championships.

Team selections will be announced in Columbus after each award ceremony.

3. Spectators Get in Free

Admission to the tournament is free, with no tickets required. 

We’ve often said the best way to experience fencing is in person, so bring your friends, family and anyone curious about the sport to witness the action up close.

4. There’s Programming for College-Bound Fencers 

Summer Nationals isn't just about competition. 

We’ve also expanded our off-the-strip offerings even further this year. That includes the College Fair, with more than two dozen NCAA fencing programs set to attend; Athlete and Parent Education Bootcamps; and insightful presentations on topics like college recruiting, application strategies and the student-athlete experience. 

See the schedule and preregister at this link.

5. You Can Meet Some Fencing Stars

Thanks to Absolute Fencing, you can meet some of your fencing heroes in Columbus and wish them luck before they head to Paris! Stop by the Absolute Fencing booth on July 7 to get autographs from Paris-bound Olympic Team members like Miles Chamley-Watson OLY, Nick Itkin OLY, Lee Kiefer OLY and Gerek Meinhardt OLY. 

One thing we love about fencing is how you can interact with (and even sometimes compete against!) the stars of our sport.

6. The Photo Studio Is Back!

Those who attended the Junior Olympics in Charlotte remember the Nathan Bingle Photography studio, where fencers, officials and coaches got high-quality photos to capture their fencing achievements. 

Nathan Bingle and his team are back and will be taking photos all 10 days of Summer Nationals. Preregister for a session today — and get a portrait that’s perfect for social media, fencing résumés or as timeless keepsake.

7. Our Hall of Fame Dinner Will Be Legendary

On July 2, join us at the Hilton Columbus Downtown for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, celebrating the Class of 2024 and other individuals who have made significant contributions to fencing. It’s an evening of recognition, inspiration and celebration you won’t want to miss. 

Get your tickets now.

8. The Presentation Room Is Packed With Action

Our “Presentation Room” at Summer Nationals started as a place to host presentations from some of fencing’s brightest young minds.

Two years later, that concept has skyrocketed. Join us in Room B132 for a series of thought-provoking presentations — ranging from mental health and body positivity to the latest in AI technology applied to fencing techniques. Learn how to fence safely in hot weather, delve into the neuroscience of fencing, and more. See the Presentation Room schedule here.

9. Columbus Is a Fan-Favorite City

There’s a reason fencers keep asking us to return to Columbus for future tournaments. It’s a vibrant city with plenty to offer. While you’re in town, we encourage you to explore local attractions, enjoy fantastic dining options and make the most of your time in this welcoming city. 

The Greater Columbus Convention Center is conveniently located, making it easy to experience the best of what Columbus has to offer.

See you in Columbus!

By the Numbers

Unique Fencers: 6,257
Total Event Registrations: 13,241
Number of Individual Events: 83
Number of Team Events: 12
Number of Strips: 105

This tournament will be the largest Summer Nationals in USA Fencing history!

Tag(s): Updates  2024 Summer Nationals