21 March 2024


World Down Syndrome Day


In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus where genetic material is stored in genes. Why is it important? Well, genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.

Chromosomes or not, it does not stop individuals to participate in judo. Azra DEDIC was born with Down syndrome but Bosnia’s exemplar knows no boundaries. She has a black belt in judo and actively competes at several tournaments for people with special needs. During an interview with Al Jazeera English back in 2019 she said;

Judo is my second family. When I am here, I feel like a superhero.

Special Olympics

Since the inception of the inaugural Special Olympics International Games in 1968, the global community has continually surpassed geographical, national, political, gender, age, cultural, and religious barriers to convene biennially for the Special Olympics World Games. Alternating between summer and winter editions, these Games have evolved into the hallmark event of the Special Olympics movement, epitomizing international solidarity, inclusivity, and unity. The forthcoming summer World Games are slated for 2027, with the location set to be disclosed later this year.

The Special Olympics allows judoka with Down Syndrome to compete world wide and to become Olympic champions of their own. Rules and techniques are modified to ensure safety and enjoyment to all participants.

Of recent, the European Judo Union began to organise inclusive tournaments annually for individuals with intellectual or physical disadvantages under the name “EJU Get Together”. For this year’s edition, time and date to be confirmed.

Let’s celebrate our superheroes!

Author: Szandra Szogedi