Jason Smyth was born and raised in the northwest of Ireland in Derry. He is the first of five children but is the only one in his family with Stargardt’s disease. At the age of eight this life-changing condition reduced his vision drastically. Over the years it has continued to worsen to the point of him being left with roughly five percent normal vision. Despite his disability, it has never slowed him down.
Jason began running competitively at the age of sixteen. At the age of seventeen, he became involved in Paralympic sports and proceeded to win gold on the track at both the European and World Championships.
At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, he reached new heights by winning two Paralympic gold medals and setting world records in the T13 100m and 200m sprints. He added to his success during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London by retaining his titles and beating his world records in both events. Making him the fastest Paralympian ever.
Jason added both 2 European and World gold medals to his collection since then. In 2016 Jason won the T13 100m Paralympic gold medal in Rio.
Throughout his Paralympic successes, Jason has strived to bridge the gap between Paralympic and mainstream competition. In 2010 he became the first Paralympic athlete to compete at the able-bodied European Championships. He continued in 2011 by competing at the 2011 World Championships, and then in 2014, he represented Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. He is also the Northern Ireland record holder over 100m, as well as currently being the fastest man in Ireland.
Irish sporting legend Jason Smyth has retired at the age of 35 and will continue to be a positive influence on the Paralympic Movement as the new strategy manager at Paralympics Ireland.
At the 2020 Summer Paralympics, Smyth again won Gold in the 100m final. He clocked 10.53 seconds as he finished 0.01 ahead of Algeria’s Skander Djamil Athmani.
In 2017 the International Paralympic Committee’s website described him as “the world’s fastest Paralympian”. In 2015 it described him as “the fastest para-athlete of all time”, while Britain’s BBC described him as “the world’s fastest-ever Paralympian” in 2016
Jason Smyth is an inspiration to many people in Ireland. If you would like to enquire about booking Jason to give a talk and speak to your organisation please contact Promotivate at firstname.lastname@example.org
"The Jason Smyth event on Monday, Sep 11th (2023) was remarkable. Feedback from senior leaders and attendees was extremely positive. It was an honor to meet Jason on the day. He is a remarkable talent but also a genuine, kind and well humored person. I really enjoyed his piece on seeking clarity on your goals; positioning yourself in a positive environment and surrounding yourself with the best people in your field. Trusting your coach/team and remaining resilient thought out your journey resonated with me and something that can be applied throughout your professional career or personal life. Jason was also bombarded with questions after the event. He spent an additional hour talking to associates over lunch which was extremely gorgeous of him."
"Jason, thanks so much for today, your speech was fantastic – incredibly frank, thought provoking and genuinely inspirational. The part that stood out most for me was when you spoke about learning first to accept your disability before you could realize your full potential. I know we’ll be talking about your visit for a long time and we’ll hopefully get the video up on the Citi Broadcast center so it can be viewed by Citi employees around the globe!"
“It obviously means a lot (winning gold in Rio) – with Beijing and London going so well, it’s about trying to continue that and maintain that high standard. You put years of work in for one moment so it means everything to go there and do well,”