Jason Smyth the fastest Paralympian ever is aiming for more success in the next two years.
After winning two golds at the European Para Athletics Championships in Berlin during the summer the Eglinton sprinter who is an ambassador for Sport Northern Ireland’s ‘Sport into Business’ programme wants to add to his four gold World Championship medals in Dubai next November and his five Paralympic golds at Tokyo in 2020.
“This career as an athlete isn’t going to last for ever and it is obviously coming to an end in the next number of years, for me I want to continue to be successful and when I finish I’ll look back and I realise what Jason Smyth did everything he possibly could throughout his career to be the best he could and so far I feel I sit in that position and that is where I want to end,” said Smyth.
“There is a lot riding on the next number of years of how long I want to go on in my career but continuing to be successful, I feel like I’m in a good place and a better place than I have been in the last few years and it is a nice position to sit in and trying to stay injury free is the most important thing.”
Smyth holds the world records at both the 100 metres and 200 metres in his T13 classification and has been unbeaten on the track for 13 years but he doesn’t take his achievements for granted.
“You can’t, Paralympic sport has moved on and continues to move on, there is an American guy in my event has run a very similar time to what I ran last year so next year’s World Championships is going to be stronger than it has ever been so you can’t take it for granted I don’t and I haven’t and the minute you do take it for granted new people come along and if you haven’t done the work in an individual sport you pay the price right away and it’s seen.”
“I think when I look back there have been times when my motivation has been higher than others, I think as a base level my motivation is always high, I think that whatever do I want to be the best and just not be the best once I want to continue to be the best and I think that is the mind set that drives me to want more.”
“Everybody see the medals the one moment of running and winning in 10 seconds and it’s incredible moments but there are 364 days that goes on behind the scenes that nobody else sees and those are the days that actually put you in the place to win the medals, the work is already done at the that stage.”
“Yes there is a mental side of it being able to perform under pressure but the work is already done and it is finding that motivation on a daily basis to keep going and to look and find little improvements day to day.”
Smyth fully endorses Sport NI’s ‘Sport into Business’ programme which helps develop the skills athletes gain in their individual sport to better prepare them for a successful career in business.
“One of the incredible things in sport is the qualities and attributes you have to develop to be a top sports person to be successful in sport are the exact same attributes and characteristics that you need to be successful in business.”
“Any sports person that is successful has those attributes and those characteristics to do so, for me it is learning where I want to transfer them to.”