History

THE EARLY YEARS

Wheelchair fencing was first introduced in England in 1953 by Sir Ludwig Guttmann. The primary focus at that time was to provide war veterans an opportunity to regain strength and coordination, espouse espirit de corps and foster self-esteem.

It wasn’t long before it was introduced and became a part of the first formalized international disability games, Stokes-Mandeville in 1955. Sabre was the only weapon at those first games and the first fencer to score a touch, basically won the bout. The French proposed to use the rules from the FIE, (Federation of International Fencing) which were adapted at the first paralympic games in Rome, Italy in 1960.

At the second paralympic games in Tokyo, Japan, in 1964, the first American team competed and won a silver medal in the women’s team foil event. It wasn’t until the Athens games in 2004 that the US would medal again, this time in men’s B individual epee. Scott Rodgers earned a bronze medal.