Portland, January 13th. The blades were drawn at the The Oregon Convention Center for the North American Cup. USA Fencing officials say 1,500 competitors are participating in the important qualifying event. The four day competition is free for spectators and runs through Monday, January 16th.
Three weapons are used in modern competitive fencing: foil, épée, and sabre. The top competitors are disciplined athletes.
Hundreds of volunteers are on hand for the 2012 North American Cup in Portland. Natalie Whitson is the Chairperson for the Oregon Division of USA Fencing and says because many of the best coaches live in Portland, the area is a magnet for serious fencing contenders who train year round. Two time Women’s Sabre Olympic Champion, Mariel Zagunis hails from Portland but doesn’t need to qualify for the London Olympics by competing in her hometown, because she already has a place on the U.S. team headed to 2012 London Olympics in July.
The USFA was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania in 1964 and in Colorado in 1993 in compliance with the Amateur Sports Act and opened its national office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. in August of 1982.
Tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games are now available to Olympic fans worldwide. U.S. residents can buy tickets online through CoSports.