Fencing for athletes in wheelchairs was first introduced by Sir Ludwig Guttmann in 1953 and has been a part of the Paralympic program since 1960.
Athletes compete in wheelchairs that are fixed to the floor. Though they rely on ducking, half-turns and leaning to dodge their competitors' touches, fencers can never raise up from the seat. The first fencer to score five touches is declared the winner. Athletes play the best out of three rounds.
Athletes compete in single and team formats. Weapon categories for men include foil, epee and sabre. Women compete in foil and epee. Athletes are divided into A, B and C classifications, depending on their strength and mobility. Class A players have the greatest range of strength and mobility, while Class C players have the least.
Paralympic fencing competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke.
E-mail your questions about fencing. Find a local program in your community - visit the Paralympic Resource Network .