Optic Nerve Atrophy and Judo Athletes

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Optic Nerve Atrophy and Judo Athletes
For athletes with disabilities, there is an ever-increasing pool of sports available in which they can compete. From wheelchair basketball to murder ball, the options are expanding and many have already become Paralympic sports. One of the most fascinating Paralympic sports is judo, a martial art that derives its origins from Jujutsu (“What is Judo and Kodokan,” 2014). According to the article “What is Judo and Kodokan” (2014) Judo was created by Professor Jigoro Kano in an effort to emphasize, “the larger educational value of training in attack and defense so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from” (para. 1). A sport like judo requires excellent skills in balance, timing, strength, and others found in similar martial arts. Fortunately for an athlete like Adam, who has optic nerve atrophy and desires to play judo, there are ways for athletes with visual impairments to become involved in the sport.
Optic nerve atrophy is a debilitating condition that in almost all cases leads to blindness or near blindness. According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (2014), the disease is classified as “mild to severe damage to the optic nerve that can adversely affect central vision and color vision” (“Optic nerve atrophy,” para. 2). What is even more devastating is that there is no known cure for the disease – the damage caused to the eye by optic nerve atrophy cannot be undone. In order to treat the disease, the only option is “limiting further optic nerve damage (if possible),” (“Optic nerve atrophy,” para. 5). For those with optic nerve damage as a result of the disease, if vision has not been completely lost, co...

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...daptive sports. Judo is just one of many options for athletes like Adam, and the increasing presence of adaptive sports will only serve to provide these athletes with more competitive options.

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