Angela Geis is one of six American women scheduled to represent her country in judo at the upcoming IBSA World Games in Seoul that officially get underway in 14 days. She will be competing in the + 70 kg class. Geis is not currently ranked internationally, and is ranked third domestically.
A North Rodgers Park resident, Geis took up judo in December 2013 as a 47-year-old in order to learn how to protect herself. She has ambitions to eventually qualify for the Paralympic Games, though these take a back seat to her burgeoning art career. In May of last year, she finished second at the USA national championships, after finishing first in a club competition earlier that year. She trains at the Military Arts Institute in Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.
Geis studied psychology and is a 2002 graduate of Northeastern Illinois University. She has been blind since birth. As a child, she attended Christian Life Academy in Ashtabula, Ohio where she played for the girl’s basketball team. An artist and photographer, her work was shown at the Celebrity Salon in Evanston in October of last year. Earlier this month, her art was part of a show at a Pilsen gallery for Poesía en Abril. Her work has also been on display in shows in Los Angeles. Her prints sell for as much as US$400 (€373) each.
Judo is taking place at the Seoul Student Gymnasium, with competition officially getting underway on May 12 and running until May 15. Judoka will have the opportunity to start training on May 8, two days before the opening ceremony. Judo has been part of the IBSA World Championships and Games since the event’s inception, and has been on the Paralympic program since 1988 when Seoul hosted the Games. Women’s judo was added to the Paralympic program in Athens at the 2004 Games.