Para judo was first included on the Paralympic program at the 1988 Seoul Games. Women’s events were added to the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. The sport is now widely practiced by male and female athletes in more than 40 countries. Canada has won four bronze medals at the Paralympic Games including three by Pier Morten.
Canadian judokas also won IBSA World Championships medals. William Morgan medaled twice and Priscilla Gagné became the first Canadian female who stood on the IBSA World Championships podium. Canadian Paralympic judokas have also won multiple medals in Pan-American Championships and Games.
In Canada, Paralympic judokas generally practice in judo clubs in a fully integrated environment with able-bodied athletes. Judo Canada also proudly introduced a fully integrated Paralympic Judo competition format by hosting IBSA Continental Championships in 2018 and 2020 in conjunction with the Canadian National Championships. The Paralympic judokas competed in the same venue and at the same time as their able-bodied fellow judokas. This fully integrated format was favorably received by the IBSA community and it also resulted in great results for Canadians, who won 4 Pan-American tiles in these events: Priscilla Gagné (two titles), Michelle Jorgensen and Justin Karn.
Judo is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and follows the International Judo Federation (IJF) rules used at other top-level, able-bodied judo events, with slight modifications for athletes with a visual impairment. For more detailed information on Judo, visit the IBSA website.
All judo athletes with a visual impairment compete together in one class in the appropriate weight category, regardless of classification. This means that a blind athlete (B1) will compete against partially sighted athletes (B3 or B2), provided they are in the same weight category.