5 minutes with Ellie Simmonds

Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds won her first medal at the age of 13 and is still only 19. We take the time to find out more about Ellie the person behind the sports star…


What’s your favourite cliché?

That’s a tough one! Clichés are always seen so negatively, so I prefer inspirational quotes or sayings. Something like, ‘Winners never quit and quitters never win.’

What would your perfect day be?

I would be at home, not having to think about anything to do in the day, so get up in the morning whenever I want to and watch a film with all my family on the sofa. Then maybe go for a walk in the park, before having a BBQ outside with all my family – both immediate and extended – and eat loads of nice food! Of course, it would also be a lovely sunny day!

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I always wanted to be an athlete and go to the Paralympics, though if that hadn’t happened I would love to have been a school teacher. They’re so amazing and really help people in so many ways.

What super power would you like?

To time travel! So, anytime I would click my fingers and I would go to a place without having to travel long distances. Although I love everything about being a swimmer sometimes I would prefer if all the travelling was instantaneous, rather than long journeys in the car!

Who would you play in a film? 

I would like to play an active adventure role such as Katniss in The Hunger Games. I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence – she’s such a great actor and someone I admire very much.

What are you currently reading and watching? I recently watched The Hunger Games Catching Fire on DVD and loved it! I’ve read all the books and I’m just a big fan of the series generally!

What are you most proud of? 

My achievements in the pool. To have competed in two Paralympic Games and other major competitions is something that I still can’t believe. I feel very honoured and proud.

What is your most treasured possession? My Paralympic medals from both Beijing and London. They’re kept in a safe place, though I often take them with me to schools and when I see children as I hope it can inspire them to believe anything is possible.

Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with? David Attenborough, because he would know all about the wildlife and keep us entertained with his interesting stories. Joanna Lumley has a lovely calming voice, so she would be able to read you stories, while Rob Brydon and Michael McIntyre are both very funny people so would keep you amused during your time on the island. All bases covered there!

Where’s your favorite place to swim?

Around the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I went snorkelling and it was simply breathtaking.

Ellie is taking part in the British Gas SwimBritain this summer, a campaign to create a healthier nation and get more people swimming more regularly. To find out more about venues and register your interest, go to swimbritain.co.uk

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