Ellie Simmonds

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Ellie Simmonds
Eleanor Simmonds and Oscar Pistorius at International Paralympic Day, Trafalgar Square, London - 20110908.jpg
With Oscar Pistorius at an International Paralympic Day event in Trafalgar Square, 8 September 2011
Personal information
Full name Eleanor May Simmonds
Nickname(s) Ellie
Nationality British
Born (1994-11-11) 11 November 1994 (age 19)
Walsall, England
Height 1.23 metres (4 ft 0 in)
Weight 45 kilograms (99 lb)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
Club Boldmere Swimming Club; Swansea Performance Centre; Loughborough University
Coach Steve Bayley

Eleanor May Simmonds, OBE (born 11 November 1994[1]) is a British Paralympian swimmer competing in S6 events. She came to national attention when she competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, winning two gold medals for Great Britain, despite being the youngest member of the team, at the age of 13. In 2012 she was again selected for the Great Britain squad, this time swimming at a home games in London. She won another two golds in London, including setting a World Record in the 400m freestyle.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Walsall, Simmonds grew up in neighbouring Aldridge, and attended Aldridge School and then attended Olchfa School in Swansea. Simmonds, who has achondroplasia, became interested in swimming at the age of five.[2] She swam for Boldmere Swimming Club in Sutton Coldfield, under Head Coach Ashley Cox, but she and her mother moved to Swansea when Simmonds was 11 to take advantage of the city's world-class swimming pool.[2][3] She trains for two hours at a time in nine training sessions per week at the Wales National Pool. In 2008, following her success in Beijing she was made a life member of the club. To this date she still maintains her links with Boldmere Swimming Club, swimming at the annual Club Championships and occasionally attending training sessions when she returns from Swansea.

She also took part in All Star Family Fortunes which was broadcast on 29 November 2009, which made her the youngest team captain they ever had on the show. She played the game with her aunt, trainer, cousin and brother and won £1,520 for her chosen charity. In January 2013 she took part in a special charity series of The Great British Bake Off.

In August 2012, Simmond's former school, Cooper and Jordan, in the Green, Aldridge have renamed their Swimming Pool after the Paralympian following her gold medals at London 2012.

Career[edit]

At the age of 13, Simmonds was the youngest British athlete[4] at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, competing in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly, and 200m Individual Medley.[5] She won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events.[6]

On 1 September 2012, Simmonds repeated her gold performance to win the 400m freestyle at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, in which she took five seconds off the World Record time.[7] Two days later, on the evening of 3 September, she took Gold in the 200m Individual Medley, breaking the World Record that she had set in the qualifying round that morning.[8]

In addition, Simmonds has won ten gold World Championship titles.[2]

She swims in the S6 disability category.

Honours and awards[edit]

Simmonds won the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

Simmonds was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[9] At 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever to have received this honour.[10] She received the honour from Queen Elizabeth II on 18 February 2009.[11] In March 2012, in the 200 m individual medley, she became the first swimmer to break a world record at London's Aquatics Centre. Her victory in a time of 3:08.14 broke her own previous best time by over half a second.[12]

In 2011, Simmonds won the award for 'Best British Sporting Performance for an Athlete with Disability' at the Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards.[13] At the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London Simmonds won four medals, two golds, a silver and a bronze. She took gold in the S6 400m with a new world record; gold in the S6 200m again with a new world record; silver in the S6 100m and a bronze in the S6 50m. In celebration of her two gold medals, two Royal Mail postboxes were painted gold in her honour, one in Aldridge and one in Swansea.

Simmonds was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to Paralympic sport.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ParalympicsGB squad for Beijing". Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Oliver (15 September 2012). "Ellie Simmonds, golden girl of the Paralympics, says she will never forget the feeling and doesn't want it to end". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ellie Simmonds Swansea gold postbox honour". bbc.co.uk. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "GB squad takes shape". Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  5. ^ "GB Swimming Team Biographies". Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  6. ^ The Press Association (8 September 2008). "Simmonds secures gold". Google. Retrieved 2008-09-08. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Ellie Simmonds wins gold in world record". Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Golden girl Simmonds shines again". London 2012 Paralympics. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 22. 31 December 2008.
  10. ^ "New Year Honours 2009 Article". BBC News. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  11. ^ "Swimmer Ellie receives MBE at 14". BBC News. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Ellie Simmonds sets first Aquatics Centre world record". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Jaguar Academy of Sport. "Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards". 
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 24. 29 December 2012.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tom Daley
BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Tom Daley