News Release

Celebrating the Remarkable Career of Jason Smyth MBE

On Friday 8th September 2023 the Belfast Northern Ireland Stake was privileged to host an evening in recognition of 6-time paralympic champion Jason Smyth MBE at the Stake centre in Belfast, NI. 

Jason, a lifetime member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Northern Ireland,  announced in March this year, his retirement from competitive athletics. He competed in the T13 disability sport classification as he is legally blind, with his central vision being affected by Stargardt's disease; he also competed in elite non-paralympic competition. Having once held the title of ‘The Fastest Paralympian on the Planet’ Jason has amazed the world by setting and breaking World records at both the 2008 Beijing and London 2012 Paralympics. He now retires with an impressive unbeaten career record

During the course of the evening, we were treated to stories and anecdotes from Jasons coach, Stephen Maguire, his roommate and fellow Paralympian, Dr Michael McKillop MBE. Both the current and previous Chief executives of Paralympics Ireland Stephen McNamara and Liam Harbison also contributed. Various local dignitaries attended the event and shared well wishes including the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy and the Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Jason Barr. Hilary Devlin from Vision Sports Ireland also spoke. Jason is currently a member of the board at Vision Sport, which helps young people with a sight disability into sport.  The evening culminated in the presentation of a piece of engraved crystal to Jason by Olympic Gold Medallist, Lady Mary Peters LG, CH, DBE. 

It was an evening of celebration for Jason and his family, there was a lot of laughter and even some tears shed. All in attendance were then invited to socialise and reminisce together with refreshments.

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