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US judo champ Toni Marie Geiger of Dumont aims for 2012 Olympics

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Video Credit: YouTube

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : Because U.S. Olympic athletes don’t receive government funding, Toni Marie Geiger of Dumont — the #1 ranked female judo athlete in the U.S. and a member of Team USA — has to raise the money she needs to train, travel and compete herself to qualify for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Toni Marie Geiger

Thursday night, several friends got together for a fundraiser at Victor Martinez’s Muscle Maker Grill in Edgewater. Geiger, who’s been dashing to competitions around the globe, thrilled the attendees by stopping by to sign autographs.

The two-time New Jersey state champion even dedicated one to CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“My competing nationally and internationally has been an experience of a lifetime,” Geiger said. “My recent accomplishments have been winning bronze in the Pan American Team Championships in El Salvador as well as the Finnish Open in Vannta, Finland.”

She has been attending international Olympic qualifying events hosted in countries ranging from Brazil to Bulgaria.

“As you can imagine, huge costs accrue from my participation,” Geiger said.

To help the cause, Jacqui Phillips and Pasquale Destro of Red Carpet Galaxy Spa in Guttenberg, Martinez and others pooled their talents, offering prizes that included tickets to Giants and Yankees games, free personal training and yoga sessions, special oxygen pod and airbrush tanning treatments, and gift certificates to the Edgewater Muscle Maker Grill.

“Toni is an amazing athlete and person,” Destro said. “All heart.”

Although the event was organized in less than four days, the group raised $630 toward the $3,000 Geiger needs by June 25 (the world tour itself requires $20,000 and, as she said, she’s “maxed out the credit cards and the daddy fund”).

But she isn’t quitting.

“Stop dreaming it,” Geiger told her supporters. “I’m living it!”

If you want to contribute, you can write to Geiger at:

Or call: 201-314-2161

Toni in action:

Among Toni Geiger’s affiliations and accomplishments :
* 2010 Team USA
* 2010 World Championship Team
* 2010 Pan American Championship Team
* 7 time USA Senior National Judo medalist
* 2 time NJ State Champion
* College National Champion
* 2 time US Open medalist
* 2009 Rendez Vous Champion
* 2009 National Presidents Cup Champion
* 2009 American Canadian Champion
* 2009 Liberty Bell Champion
* 2009 Finnish Open medalist
* Top 5 2009 Pan American Grand Prix
* Top 5 2009 Swedish Open
* 2 time Olympic Team Trials member
* Midwestern Champion
* East Coast Champion

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