Laurie Ann Pokin 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 16 days. She will be competing in the – 63 kg class. Pokin is not currently ranked either domestically or internationally.
An Indian Hills, Colorado local, Pokin is hoping to be able to qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio. She competed at the 2012 Denver Judo Spring Tournament, finishing second in the 138pound novice women class. In 2010, she qualified for her first World Team after being the only competitor in her class at the 2010 Blind World Championship Team Trials in Aurora, Colorado.
She is a member of Denver Judo.
Pokin is a 2011 graduate of University of Colorado at Denver, where she earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts. As a student, she had her film, The White Room, show at the 2009 Denver Underground Film Festival where it won an award for the best dramatic performance. She also had a story “Birdie Nook” published. Pokin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. When she was less than a year old, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which resulted in vision loss.
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 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.