Ministers Catherine Martin and Thomas Byrne pay tribute to Paralympian Jason Smyth on his retirement
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, TD, and the Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD, have today paid tribute to Jason Smyth, the fastest Paralympian on the planet, on his retirement from sport. Jason Smyth is one of Ireland’s most successful ever athletes, having won 6 Paralympic gold medals, 6 European Championship Gold Medals, and 9 World Championship Gold Medals. He has represented Ireland at the Beijing, London, Rio, and Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Minister Martin said:
“Jason has inspired a whole generation of young Irish people. To have one of the world’s top athletes come from these shores is an immense achievement and we have been truly privileged to watch him perform at such a high level for well over a decade. The Paralympics have been hugely important, both here and abroad, in promoting the cause of persons with disabilities. He has shown what can be achieved despite adversity. He has been an extraordinary advocate for the Paralympic games and sport in general, and for that we should all be grateful.”
Minister Byrne added:
“Ireland has produced some extraordinarily gifted athletes over the years and there is no doubt in my mind that Jason ranks right up there with the very best of them. He is a multiple medal winner on a global level and he has showcased the best of Irish sport for many years. He has risen to the very top of his sport and he has done so with grace and humility. His club, Team Ireland and all Irish people are so proud of him. I can only hope that the high performance system we are continuously building on and improving in this country will go on to create more athletes of the calibre of Jason Smyth. I wish him and his family every best wish for the future.”