Ellie Simmonds OBE
Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Simmonds OBE is one of the world’s most celebrated Paralympians and a true golden girl of British sport. A five-time Paralympic Champion and fourteen-time World Champion. Ellie shot to fame when she won her first Paralympic medals at just 13 years old at the Beijing Paralympic Games., a year after becoming the youngest person ever to represent a senior GB swimming team at a World Championships as a 12-year-old. This was the start of a string of firsts for Ellie as she went on to become the youngest winner of the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 and then the youngest recipient of an MBE at the age of 14.
After her S6 100m and 400m gold medals at Beijing ’08, Ellie went even better at the London 2012 Paralympics, winning four medals, including two Golds, and broke a further two World records, all amidst the backdrop of being the poster girl of the Games. This success in London helped make her the most recognised Paralympic athlete in Great Britain, if not the world. Rio 2016 saw Ellie once again top the podium, winning yet another Gold and in doing so setting a new world record for the SM6 200m Individual Medley, becoming the first S6 ever to swim a sub three-minute time. Ellie retired from the pool in 2021 after her fourth Paralympics Games in Tokyo, finishing her career with an incredible five Paralympic gold medals, in addition to a silver and two bronze, 14 World titles, 10 European titles and countless World records broken along the way.
Ellie has captured both the hearts and minds of the British public, initially balancing her stardom with her schoolwork and her round-the-clock training. Ellie’s work outside of the pool with charities such as Dwarf Sports Association, WaterAid, the Scouts and I AM WATER, in addition to her frequent work in the media, including her inspiring and ground-breaking time on BBC’s flagship Strictly Come Dancing, has truly cemented her status as one of the nation’s most well-loved personalities.