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A cutting edge competition comes to the Fox Cities

Axe Throwing
Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-01 10:34:19-05

APPLETON (NBC 26) — A world championship is coming to Northeast Wisconsin. The World Axe Throwing Championships and World Knife Throwing Championships will be held in Appleton this weekend.

“This event is a great fit for our community. Let’s go all in and try to show them what we can do as a host site,” said Matt Ten Haken, director of sports marketing for the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.

This will be the first competition of its kind for the Fox Cities.

“Not always a thing that will happen in the Fox Cities, so we’re really excited to welcome all these throwers and the excitement that will come with all of the visitors to town,” said Ten Haken.

As well as the first-of-its-kind for the sport.

“The skill level in this sport has grown so much, we had to include more people,” said Mike Morton, World Axe Throwing League Commissioner.

Heading to Appleton are nearly 600 competitors from all over the United States and the world.

“I’m from London, England. I’m here... in beautiful Appleton to throw at the world axe throwing competition,” said Camron Macdougall, a thrower from London.

Throwers like Cameron are coming from far and wide to compete this weekend, but for some, maybe not as far as they're used to.

“We don’t have a venue in every town, every city, or even every state. So, people would travel 3-4 hours to compete without even thinking twice about it,” said Morton.

Morton credits some of that to the sense of community throughout the sport.

“We’re a group of misfits that gather and love each other and support each other. As new people come into the sport and discover that community, they really become embedded and really enjoy, almost secondarily, enjoy the axe throwing part of it as well,” said Morton.

As for Cameron, this will be his first competition along with his first visit to the states.

“I’ve never done a competition or a tournament before,” said Macdougall. “This is on another level for me…. First time.”

The competition will take place from Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. Friday and Saturday will be free and open to the public from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Sunday’s ESPN Finals will be ticketed but also telecast on an ESPN network.