Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,

Dear ID Judoka, Dear parents and families, Dear coaches & trainers,

a very difficult time that we all must face in the last two years, worldwide.

Corona has very rarely allowed us to get together, our beloved sport the Judo, one of the most valuable sports for all people and especially for our people, with mental disabilities.

Here people meet in respect and joy in a very close contact with each other, in confidence in himself and his partner on the mat in visible joy.

The frustration that we all must accept because we cannot fight tournaments is great. For ID judoka, who belong to the vulnerable groups, the risk of contracting COVID 19 is much higher and the risk of falling ill and having to seek hospital care is much higher.

Alienation and, unfortunately, open aggression become palpable during this time of great sporting restrictions.

Of course, there are disputes, uncertainty, and fears in the families, in the clubs and among those responsible. It is important that all those who look after our ID-Judoka and accompany them are vaccinated. Of course, also and in the first place the ID-Judoka themselves.

Many of us know this.

Many are already vaccinated 3 times. Let’s talk to each other, we learn from each other, we are allowed to argue, we are allowed to be wrong.

Let’s protect our ID judoka on the way to the Paralympics and apply the highest level of responsibility and our own good judgment.

But everyone remembers that after the pandemic we will still be able to look each other in the eye and deal with each other in trust and peace.

The worldwide ambassadors of peace in sport, our ID judoka, wonderful people and equally fair, great fighters for peace and joy, in life and on the mat, need all of us.

I am happy to see you all again and to fight together with you for your participation in the Paralympic Games.

In the sense of participation in respect and equality.

In respect for all your great achievements in your life and on the mat.

In this sense, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year 2022.

Klaus Gdowczok

-The President of IFoN-

Cologne December 24, 2021

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