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Ellie Simmonds OBE

Swimmer & Olympic Gold Medalist

 

Ellie Simmonds, OBE 

Ellie was born Eleanor May Simmonds on 11 November 1994 in Walsall.

She attended Cooper and Jordan CofE Primary before attending Aldridge School and later Olchfa School in Swansea.

She went on to study Psychology at Loughborough University.

 

Ellie became interested in swimming at the age of five and eventually competed for Boldmere Swimming Club in 

Sutton Coldfield, under Head Coach Ashley Cox.

When she was 11, Ellie and her mother moved to Swansea to take advantage of the city's world-class swimming pool

and facilities.

At the age of 13, Ellie was brought to the nations attention as the youngest British athlete to take part in the 2008

Summer Paralympics in Beijing. She competed in most of the S6 events -  50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m 

butterfly, and 200m Individual Medley.

She won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events.

Because of these outstanding achievements, Ellie’s fame spread rapidly and she was recognised by the public, for her

hard work and success, when she won the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours. This award meant

that she became the youngest person ever, at the age of 14, to have received this honour, which the Queen bestowed on her

on 18 February 2009.

In 2011, Simmonds won the award for 'Best British Sporting Performance for an Athlete with Disability' at the Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards.

The Royal Mail decided to celebrate British Gold Medal Winners at both able bodied and Paralympic games by painting post boxes gold in the athletes local area and in celebration of her two gold medals, two Royal Mail post boxes were painted gold in her honour, one in Aldridge and one in Swansea.

In 2012, at the home games in London she was again selected for the Great Britain squad. Ellie won two gold medals in London and set World Record times in both the 200m individual medley and the 400m freestyle. She was the first swimmer to record a World Record Time in the new London Aquatics Centre

On 12 September 2016, at the Rio Paralympics, Ellie defended her Gold medal for the 200m individual medley setting a new World Record, the first below 3 minutes at 2:59.81 She also won a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle.

Ellie Simmonds has also won ten gold World Championship titles.

Simmonds was elevated to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to Paralympic sport.

Ellie is very involved with all kinds of charity work, with much of her focus being on sports, young people and water (Wateraid).

She is an ambassador for The Scout Association and a Girl Guiding Leader with the nickname of Aqua Owl.

She is a patron of the Dwarf Sports Association UK, along with swimmer Matthew Whorwood.

"It’s a charity that supports people of short stature and helps them get into sport. One of the highlights of the year is the convention we have in the spring. There’s everything from power lifting to athletics."

 

Ellie Simmonds is a remarkable individual who has not seen herself as anything other than a person with the opportunity to further her interests and abilities in order to excel in both life and sport. She is a great role model!

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