Robert Alcorn is one of 11 American men scheduled to represent his country in judo at May’s IBSA World Games in Seoul, Korea. Alcorn will be competing in the men’s -73kg. He is currently no.1 player domestically, while he has not been ranked internationally yet.
Chesterland, Ohio native Alcorn won in the men’s -73kg at the 2014 National President’s Cup Judo Championships. He made his first international debut at the International German Judo Championships for the Blind and Visual-Impaired this April, where he won a bronze medal. The-19-year was a wrestler, and he has trained with able-bodied athletes since he was in year six. He has competed several national tournaments, before taking up judo. “A lot of people say I’m an inspiration…I don’t think of it that way. I just think I’m a normal kid who tries to fit in with everyone,” he told The News-Herald.
Alcorn is one of triplets. They were born 14 weeks prematurely, resulting in his visual impairment. Although his two triplet brothers improved their vision, thanks to operation, he was only able to see light and shadows.
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 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 Seoul 1988. Women’s judo was added to the Paralympic program in Athen at the 2004 Games.