Jason and Karen Crowned Dancing with the Stars Champions

Jason and Karen lifting the glitterball trophy

Sunday March 17th, 2024

Press Release

Vision Impaired Paralympian Jason Smyth and Karen Byrne Crowned Dancing with the Stars Champions 2024

Vision Sports Ireland is delighted to announce that Vision Impaired Paralympian Jason Smyth and his partner Karen Byrne have been crowned RTÉ One Dancing with the Stars Champions for 2024.

Jason and Karen dance holding hands, Karen wears a black blindfold

From the beginning of the series, Jason who has less than 10% vision and who had no prior dancing experience and partner Karen delivered phenomenal performances week on week to glide their way to lifting the coveted Glitterball Trophy. The success of Jason and Karen is a testament to the often-mistaken ability of people who are blind or vison impaired and not only celebrates the wonderful duos outstanding performances throughout the show, but also highlights the possibilities that exist when equal opportunities are provided for all.

For their final show dance, in a powerful move which left not a single dry eye in the room or in many rooms around the country, Jason’s partner Karen performed the first half of the routine blindfolded with Jason leading the Showdance.

Karen Byrne added “I can’t believe it, I am in shock…..he never complains. I genuinely believe he’s changed me, That’s what the show is about”.

Jason and Karen dance, Jason leans karen over his knee

Jason Smyth in his short celebratory speech stated “I just wanted to show what was possible”

Vision Sports Ireland CEO Aaron Mullaniff added, “Jason and Karen’s journey on Dancing with the Stars has been nothing short of inspirational. From week one to lifting the Glitterball trophy, the pair have showcased their incredible talents and beyond the glitz and glamour of the dance floor, their participation in this competition highlights the importance of inclusion, changing perceptions around blindness and shining a spotlight on the importance of redesigning a country where there are zero barriers to participation”. The Vision Sports Ireland team and I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Jason and Karen on their shared success and thank all our members for supporting Jason and Karen throughout the competition”.


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