Lori Pierce, USA, 21. Outstanding blind Judo wrestler (5’7”, 146lbs). World IBSA (International Blind Sports Federation) champion (2002), silver medalist of Paralympic Games (2004). Active participant in the Blind Judo Foundation and child trainer. Holder of United States Marine Corps Warrior Award and Terry Dodson Inspirational Award.
(The Paralympic Games are an official equivalent of the Olympics for athletes with physical disabilities; they take part at the same city as the regular Olympics just after them.)
I am the youngest of eight kids. I was born 3 months prematurely and only weighed 2 pounds. I was adopted by Sandy and Lou Pierce when I was 4 months right from the hospital. I went to Anchor Center for the blind until I was 5 and then main streamed at public schools and graduated in 2003 from Arvada West high school. Some of my hobbies are being with friends, listening to music, computers, singing, and anything outdoors.
Yes I have a screen reader that reads to me everything on the screen.
My computer will have the pop ups come up but I can navigate around them.
My brothers and sisters are electrician, paper delivery person, cop, day care, nurse, and teacher respectively.
I like all kinds of music, I like to sing karaoke with my brother sometimes.
In high school, I ran cross country and track.
I have learned something unique and important from all of my coaches, so deciding on a favorite would be impossible. I would have to thank Scott Moore for getting me interested in judo and for teaching me a lot. I truly appreciate my Northglenn judo coaches for working me hard in every practice and helping me improve on my techniques. I think my paralympic coaches Willy Cahill and Raul Tamayo have really built up my confidence and made this a sport that I not only like but I love. I must also thank Warren Agena from Northglenn school as well as Ron Peck and the Blind Judo Foundation for their funding and support, without which, my teammates and I would not have been able to get to where we are at today.
Yes, my coaches have been taught how to coach blind athletes. My Paralympic coaches and other coaches are very good at how they coach.
The Blind Judo Foundation and the Association of Blind Athletes really helps get kids and adults involved in judo and other adaptive sports. The rules of judo are not much different then sighted judo. The only big differences are the blind players get to start with a standard grip.
Ron: Basically the same rules are followed for the sighted as well as the blind / visually impaired. The main difference is they can start off grabbing the judo gi before starting the competition. Even if a sight impaired person competes with a sighted person, they will initiate the game from grabbing each others gi.
Judo is good for blind and visually impaired players because you are in constant contact with your opponent. It builds up self-confidence, you get to meet new people, you are doing something that is active.
Ron: I believe Judo is so fascinating for the visually impaired is that
they can compete locally and at the Olympic Level (in this case the
Paralympic level) and feel a sense of accomplishment. There are many
individuals who try various sports and Judo is very difficult but at the
same time rewarding. Being visually impaired and good at Judo helps to
build confidence, character, citizenship and feelings of worth.
I saw judo at a United States Association of blind athlete's sports day. It looked interesting and something new to try.
They had all different clinics that we could try and I tried judo and liked it a lot.
I compete against sighted judo players. You don't have to be able to see to do well in judo because you are able to feel what your opponent is doing. It is different because your opponent can watch what you are doing and you had to just have someone else tell you what they like to throw or their techniques.
Ron: Not only do visually impaired have a heightened sense of touch they are also intent listeners to the coaches and trainer. Remember, not being able to see the moves and instructions, they need to visualize what is being communicated. Here there is an advantage in that the visually impaired does not get distracted with other visual stimulus around them. Visually Impaired individuals do compete with sighted judokas. However, at the Paralympic Level it is visually impaired vs. visually impaired.
They coach me while I am fighting but they watch my opponents' matches and then quietly tell me what they are doing.
Yes, because you are fighting for the better grip and sighted players are doing the same.
I do practice with men. I don't think that this is a problem because you can get stronger since men are fighting a different style.
Ron: Lori and other females can compete with men of the same ranking and class but that is mainly in practice. It gives the female opponent generally someone that is stronger to train against and compete. However, in standard competition whether locally or internationally it is female vs. female.
There is not a difference on how they compete. I just mean men can be stronger, so if you are fighting against a man you have to sometimes use more technique and use their leverage more.
You can sometimes feel what they are going to do with their body movements.
Ron:Having a strategy and master of 3 moves and knowing how to implement them helps one to perceive the movement of their opponent's intentions and anticipated moves. Doesn't always work but at least there was a plan.
One of my favorite judo techniques is "Ippon Seoi Nage" and that translate to one arm shoulder throw. I don't think you can say that visual impaired athletes have a certain favorite techniques because they are visually impaired. You are going to find your favorite techniques on what you can do well or what makes sense to you, not what is good for you because you are blind.
At first, it was a little different but I think that you just have to not care and just fight the matches.
No, I haven't gotten any huge injuries and it isn't any more dangerous then any other sport.
I would have to say the exciting things in my life are when I got my guide dog, and going to Athens Greece to represent the US in the 2004 Paralympic games.
Receiving the gold medal in Rome at the Judo Worlds in 2002, receiving the silver medal in Greece.
My plans are to take classes that will allow me to go into a field working with kids. I also want to get more blind people into judo or other sports. I am hoping to be on the US Paralympic team for the 2008 Paralympic games.
I think that yes, women and men's bodies are different but a woman in judo could beat a man.
I don't think that women need to prove that they are better then men. Women are good at some things whereas men aren't good at those things. I think that whether you are a man or woman you should just try to do your best.
I don't think you can say that men aren't smarter than women because there are some women that are stronger then men.
I think that would be fine if the participants were okay with it.
Thanks! Your website looks really great and I appreciate that you are promoting women's combative sports.
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