IFon is an international federation of independent national ID-judo associations and legal guardians of people with an intellectual disability.


Victor Gdowczok – Ambassador of IFoN –
The Announcement to the IPC

My name is Victor. Judo has been a permanent Olympic sport for over 30 years. I am world champion in judo. And last year I fought for Germany in Vichy, France. After 14 years, I won the first gold medal for Germany at the Paralympic World Championships, the VIRTUS Global Games. I’ve been doing judo since I was 8 years old. I took the belt test for my black belt in 2016, according to the examination regulations for judoka without disabilities. And passed with distinction. Now I’m fighting to be allowed to fight for Germany at the Paralympics in Paris in 2024, i.e. this year. Period. Judo is not a new sport at the Olympics. Judo has been an Olympic sport for a very, very long time. It’s just us. We people with intellectual disabilities like me, with Down syndrome, are not allowed to compete. Why is that? Do the people at the International Paralympic Committee not like us? If that’s the case and you don’t like us, then tell us openly and honestly. Tell us we don’t want you there. You are not Paralympic athletes, we don’t want you! But we want to fight. We don’t want to play. We can do judo and we can fight. My Paralympic colleague from France, Bastien, with whom I fought in the final at the VIRTUS GLOBAl Games in Vichy, with whom I fought for over 4 minutes. Bastien is a bit heavier than me. I weigh 76.5 kilos, Bastien weighs 90 kilos. But we can both do judo. I have won!  I am world champion. In Paralympic judo, ID judo. My wish for myself and all my colleagues in Paralympic ID judo is that we don’t have to wait any longer to take part in the Paralympics. We have been waiting far too long, over 6 years now. The United Nations in New York gave us the right to participation and equality – also in sport – a long time ago! But we have to fight for our rights again and again, why is that? Why can’t those responsible in sport simply give us our rights and, above all, support us? We are not beggars. We need your help, but we don’t want to have to beg for it. We are strong athletes – the best of the best in our countries. We are not pitiable people. We don’t want to be pitied! We will show you in Paris how we fight, we are judoka, we, Adam Wisnieswski from Poland, Ben Musaeus from Germany, Bastien Ritter and Antony Valmy from France, Jasper Holtackers from Holland, my friend Shan Banks, Sky Westwood and Mikey Lomas from England, and our colleagues from overseas, from Brazil, Robert Giordwood from Australia, Israel, Japan, Norway, Finland, Austria and many more. We are all registered on the Virtus IPC World Master List. I hope for good news soon, soon for news from Mr. Andrew Parsons the President of the International Paralympic Committee. Until then, let’s all keep training and be ready – see you @ Paris – Victor Gdowczok from Cologne-Germany

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