JASON SMYTH AIMING TO BECOME FIRST MAN TO COMPETE IN THE OLYMPICS AND PARALYMPICS IN SAME YEAR
DOUBLE GOLD WINNER AT BEJING PARALYMPICS SAYS HE MUST RETAIN MEDALS IN LONDON
TOPAZ UNVEILS SPRINTER AS FIRST BRAND AMBASSADOR
Wednesday 20th of June 2012. Sprinter Jason Smyth has said he has five more chances to realise his dream of becoming the first man to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics in the same year.
Smyth who won double gold in the 100 and 200m at the Beijing Paralympics, is one of the country’s main medal hopes in the London Paralympics which takes place in August.
But the Derry born sprinter has a burning ambition to also compete in the Olympics and will be aiming to cut just 0.04 off his personal best to make the 10.18 Olympic A standard time at the upcoming European Championships in Helsinki and at the Irish Championships.
Smyth, who has just returned to Ireland from winter training with Tyson Gay in Florida, grew up with Stargardt’s Disease, a genetic disorder, which has left him with less than 10% of normal vision.
Yesterday (Wednesday) he was unveiled as a Brand Ambassador for Topaz, the country’s largest fuels and convenience foods retailer. The Company has shot a short film telling Jason’s story and will be marking his participation in the Games with a nationwide advertising campaign.
‘My success at Beijing enabled me to become a full-time athlete but training here and in the US with top athletes requires extra resources and that is why I am delighted that Topaz have chosen to support me. I am delighted to have been selected as their first Brand Ambassador and am looking forward to a very exciting summer on the track’ Smyth said.
Topaz CEO John Williamson said Jason’s new role for the Company had grown out of the Company’s sponsorship of Paralympics Ireland.
‘To say Jason has faced challenges and made huge sacrifices is a huge understatement. Not only has he faced them but he has overcome them and become a fantastic role model for us all. We think he will be a fantastic Brand Ambassador for Topaz.
Jason was the first Paralympic athlete to ever compete in the European Championships at Barcelona two years ago and we will all be hoping he realises his dream of competing in the London Olympics. But whatever the competition and whatever the venue I know all our employees and our customers will be supporting Jason fully’ Williamson said.
In early March Topaz signed a sponsorship deal with Paralympics Ireland and as part of that deal the Company will be promoting the team and Irish Paralympic sport through its network of over 320 sites nationwide.
The short film about Jason’s life and his hopes and dreams will be released this weekend for the upcoming games can be seen at www.topaz.ie
For Further Information
Contact Kieran Garry
01/6650 455 or 087/2368366