For the first time the Blind & Visually Impaired athletes have been invited to participate at this event.
USA Judo, Inc. will host Blind Judo at the Senior National Judo Championships in San Diego on April 16-19, 2009. For the first time the Blind & Visually Impaired athletes have been invited to participate at this event. The Blind Judo Foundation (www.blindjudofoundation.org) will provide all the Medals for the Visually Impaired winners at the Awards Ceremony.
USA Judo, Inc. is the official organization of the USOC for the sport of Judo. Points earned will contribute to each individual weight class winners that will accumulate towards the selection of the US Paralympic Judo Team representing the United States at the 2012 Paralympic Games in the UK. The Paralympic Games open two weeks after the official closing of the Olympic Games and at the same venue.
Unfortunately the Paralympics, not to be confused with Special Olympics, do not get the same media visibility as the Olympics yet it is the second largest sporting event in the world. It was the US Paralympic Judo Team that won the first two Gold Medals in Judo for the United States as well as a Silver and Bronze. The US Paralympic Judo Team was named the number 1 team in the world at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
The purpose of the Blind Judo Foundation (www.blindjudofoundation.org/aboutus.php) is to create champions of blind and visually impaired children, young adults and visually impaired military personnel returning from war zones through the sport of Judo. Judo became an Olympic event in 1964 and at the Paralympics in 1988. The sport of Judo creates a level playing field in life for all who dare to step onto the Judo mats across America.
The Paralympic Games are designed for the physically disabled athlete in both the summer and winter games. The Blind Judo Foundation (www.blindjudofoundation.org/media.php) athletes in Judo are blind and compete with the same rules as the sighted athletes. The only difference is the beginning of the match where both competitors hold on to each others Judogi's (uniform) before the referee says "Hajime" or begin. Both male and female athletes compete in the sport of Judo.
The Blind Judo Foundation (www.blindjudofoundation.org) will provide all the Medals for the Visually Impaired winners at the Awards Ceremony.