Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pimp My Ride

Sometimes at NACs & Nationals I sneak away from cheering my teammates to scope out the wheelchair fencing.

Most of the time the Fashionistas nose around for the small amount of real estate available to fencers for embellishment--the mask, the shoes, the off hand.

Hence my interest in the wheelchair riders. Talk about scope for ornamentation. While equipment manufacturers struggle to fit a few stars and stripes onto a mask, these guys have room for the whole freakin' flag.

And flags are only the starting point. 

There's room to acknowledge pretty much everyone under the sun (including airlines).

Or to riff on anything from from cosmic explosions to artistic vines & leaves

From China Daily
Or in-your-face nationalist symbolism. (But still, a little more subtle than a flag.)

Photo by Lei Zhang on
And that's just the wheels. They also have the whole frame to play around with. Check out this paint job.

I haven't had the chance to interview any of these riders--don't want to interrupt them when they are hooking up to bout, and they often seem to be in a hurry, between times. But I want to! So if you know any fencers who have customized their fencing wheelchair, please make an introduction.

Photos, unless otherwise credited, by Badger. 

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