JASON Smyth the legendary Irish Paralympian has retired from competitive running. Smyth a Derry native walks away from the sport as the world record holder at both 100m and 200m.
The Irish track star is the fastest Paralympian of all-time and holds the World and Paralympic records in T13 100m (10:46) and 200m (21.05), which he set at the London Paralympics in 2012.
Smyth competes in the T13 disability sport classification as he is legally blind, with his central vision being affected by Stargardt's disease.
His first gold medal for his country came at 2005 European Championships in Finland, He took home top prize in the 100m and 200m events.
After securing two gold medals at the 2006 World Championships in the Netherlands, he further solidified his status as the world's leading athlete at the 2008 Paralympics by winning gold in both sprint events.
He went on to keep his grip on those titles for the rest of his career.
The 35-year-old defended his gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics and his also 100m title at the 2016 Games.
He was unable to defend his 200m title in 2016 and 2020 because the event had been removed from the game.
Time to say goodbye… pic.twitter.com/5OxNwCvwW6
— Jason Smyth MBE (@smyth_jason) March 29, 2023
He had hoped to win a seventh gold at the games in Paris in 2024, but has said now is the right time to hang up his running shoes.
The icon retires with six Paralympic gold medals, eight World Championhips titles and six European crowns to his name.
“I think now is the right time for me to step away from competitive Paralympic Sport," Smyth said.
"I lived and fulfilled the dream and now I hope to support the next generation of para-athletes on their journey.
"I have loved my time with Team Ireland, and I have had many incredible memories that I will really treasure from my time as an athlete.
"There are so many people that have helped me along the way from my coaches, support staff, to my teammates, partners and my competitors.
"I would especially like to pay tribute to my incredible and very patient family, especially my wife, Elise and my daughters Evie and Lottie.
Smyth went to say that he will be working with Paralympics Ireland as a strategy manager within the organisation.
“I now look forward to joining my new teammates at Paralympics Ireland. I feel that I have a lot to offer thanks to my experiences as an athlete and as someone that has been in the Paralympic and Disability sporting environment since my youth.
"I can’t wait to start this new stage of my career and giving back to the sport that has meant so much to me.”