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UK Disability History Month

Ellie Simmonds

Ellie Simmonds photoEllie Simmonds OBE is one of the most recognised athletes in the para-swimming team as a result of her incredible performances and her tearful celebrations across three Paralympic Games. 

The youngest member of the British team at Beijing 2008, Simmonds won the 100m freestyle S6 before breaking her own world record by more than seven seconds for a second title in the 400m freestyle S6. She then won five European golds in 2009, four World Championship titles in 2010 and added another two European golds (both in world records) in 2011. 

At London 2012 she held her nerve under the pressure of public expectation and a fierce rivalry with American Victoria Arlen to secure 400m freestyle S6 and 200m individual medley SM6 golds as well as 100m freestyle S6 silver and 50m freestyle S6 bronze medals. 

Ellie Simmonds preparing for swimming raceFollowing London 2012 she has continued her medal-winning form, picking up three gold medals at both the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal and at her third IPC Swimming European Championships in Eindhoven in 2014. At the latter event she lowered her 200m individual medley SM6 world record and claimed her first international 100m breaststroke SB6 title. 

Ellie claimed gold at her third Games at Rio 2016, taking the Paralympic title in the 200m individual medley SM6. She became the first S6 swimmer to dip below the three-minute mark, with a time of 2:59.81. She also won bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle S6, losing the title that she won in Beijing and London to Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko.