BBC Sport NI tells the remarkable story of Londonderry athlete Jason Smyth, the man who competes without 90% of his sight.
The documentary follows his attempt to become the first ever sprinter to compete in both the Paralympics and Olympics at London 2012. Jason speaks candidly about sacrifices he has made and the hardships he has overcome as he pushes his heart, body and soul to the limit to make his dream a reality.
BBC Sport NI’s Nikki Gregg has been granted exclusive access, charting Jason’s journey over the past year.
Jason, who suffers from a condition known as Stargardt's Disease won gold in both the 100m and 200m races in the T13 classification at the 2008 Beijing Games . Since then he has made the crossover to mainstream competition, becoming the first paralympic athlete ever to race at the able-bodied European Championships in 2010.
Jason says,” I think obviously things have to be a disadvantage. I mean if you lose 90% of your vision it’s impossible for it to be anything but a disadvantage but for me it’s normal and I suppose that’s just the way it is. I’ve learnt to get on with it.”
Tanni Grey Thompson
Britain's most decorated paralympian, Dame Tanni Grey Thompson (left) says: “His performances in Beijing were just stunning. He just looked so in control and actually when someone runs that well, he makes it look easy.”
The documentary team travels to Jason’s training camp in Florida where he moved so that he could train with world class coaches and work alongside elite athletes including former 100m World Champion Tyson Gay, the USA’s top Olympic sprinter, the second fastest man in the world behind Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. The pair are training partners and close friends.
“I’ve grown to look up to Jason. I’ve grown to look at his ability to be a great athlete and evolve over the years and that is something spectacular to witness,” says Tyson.
- Nikki Gregg
- Margaret O'Hare