Ellie Simmonds: Going for Gold

After winning 2 gold medals in Beijing four years ago, Ellie Simmonds from Aldridge in Walsall now aged 17 - has won her way back into our hearts and THREE more medals .

On Saturday night, she cemented herself as a fan's favourite by powering to victory in the 400m freestyle.
On Monday the 3rd of September the poster girl of the Games was back in the pool to contest the 200m individual medley in which she won a second Gold - breaking her own world record.
Then, on Tuesday 4th of September the 17 year old from Walsall claimed a bronze in her least favourite event the S6 50 metre freestyle.
The remarkable swimmer is arguably the only British Paralympian to become a household name.
Since her rise to fame she has continued to dominate by winning 10 world titles, five European titles and setting eight world records.
Ellie's Gold Post-box
First Class Stamps have been created to mark her Paralympic success as well as a post-box in her home town of Aldridge being painted gold to represent her 400m Freestyle win.
Speaking before the Games, she said she was grateful to have negotiated the exposure she received in Beijing, which put her firmly in the spotlight.
''Going into Beijing I was like: 'What's a Paralympics?' I'd seen it on TV but I hadn't experienced it, so to come to London and have that experience to know what it is like definitely gives me an advantage.''
Simmonds' disability is classified as Achondroplasia dwarfism. She started swimming at the age of five and started competing against non-disabled children at the age of eight.
At 10 years old her talent was spotted at a disability event and she was entered on to the British Swimming talent programme and worked her way through to be selected as the youngest member of a senior British swimming squad for the 2006 IPC World Championships at 12 years old.
She now trains under Billy Pye at the same Swansea pool as Olympians Jemma Lowe and Georgia Davies.
Her achievements in Beijing were the start of a string of firsts for Simmonds as she became the youngest winner of the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 and then the youngest recipient of the MBE at 14 years old.
Simmonds is studying hard alongside her training. She has also completed her GCSEs and will be entering sixth form later this month to study world development, history and citizenship.

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