Loudoun Co. to host international parafencing World Cup

The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation’s World Cup will be held at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia, starting  Saturday, Jan. 14, through Tuesday, Jan. 17. It’s the first time the event has been held in the U.S. in a decade.

It was last hosted by Atlanta in 2003. The Leesburg event is free and open to the public.

Qualifying points are on the line for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

Among those expected to contend for a medal is Team USA’s Ellen Geddes, a Tokyo Paralympian who will be competing in front of a home crowd on the national stage for the first time in her career.

At the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup last April in Sao Paulo Brazil, Geddes was awarded two bronze medals.

The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation’s World Cup in Lessburg, Virginia, will be open to the public. (Courtesy International Wheelchair and Amputee Federation/Joe Kusumoto)

“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,” said Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Fencing.

About 130 athletes from 26 countries will participate in the World Cup at the National Conference Center. The Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association, also known as Visit Loudoun, expects the event to generate about 1,500 hotel night rooms in the jurisdiction.

The main objective for parafencing is the same as fencing, with points awarded each time a fencer touches the opponent in the target area. Matches are based on categories indicating the degree of disability.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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