Smyth gets his golden delivery to celebrate London 2012 double
Friday, 14 September 2012
September 14 - Double Paralympic sprint champion Jason Smyth has won his campaign to have a post box in his home town in Northern Ireland painted gold to celebrate his success at London 2012.
Royal Mail had said they would not be painting the post box because Smyth ran for Ireland and not Britain at the Paralympics, where he won the T13 100 and 200 metres for the second consecutive Games.
But the company reversed that decision after public pressure, led by Smyth, who had taken to Twitter to lobby for a golden post box in Eglinton, County Londonderry.
Northern Ireland Paralympians Michael McKillop, who won the T37 800m and 1500m at London, and Bethany Firth, who took gold in the SB14 100m backstroke, will also have post boxes painted in their home towns of Glengormley and Seaforde.
Smyth Tweeted: "Gold post box on the way, great to see a change of heart from @RoyalMail Thank you."
Smyth's grandfather Robert also welcomed the news.
"I think it is an excellent decision and a sensible decision," he said.
"The Post Office has listened to the people and acted accordingly.
"And it's not just Jason.
"It's also Michael McKillop and Bethany Firth.
"Out of the eight golds that Ireland got, five came from Northern Ireland so this is great for Northern Ireland and it is the right and proper decision to make."
The news coincides with Eglinton preparing to give Smyth a hero's welcome tomorrow.
Londonderry Mayor Kevin Campbell will be among those to greet Smyth when he returns home.
"Jason Smyth is a truly remarkable athlete and sports personality and a real credit to his family and coach," said Campbell.
"It was very emotional watching him race during the Games and great to see the fantastic reception he received from the spectators.
"He is a great ambassador for sport and to young people across our city by the way he disciplined himself to train so intensively despite his degenerative eye condition.
"We are delighted to be part of his welcome home celebration and to formally acknowledge his achievements."
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September 2012: Ireland's Smyth, McKillop and Firth deprived of golden post box honour