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2011 YSPOTY contenders: Ellie Simmonds Q&A

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds
Ellie Simmonds has a stash of gold medals and is hoping for more in 2012!

Double Paralympic gold medal-winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds has achieved an absurd amount in her 17 years: she has won eight major gold medals, including the two at Beijing in 2008 when she was just 13.

She has previously won the Young Sports Personality of the Year Award and in 2009 was the youngest person ever to be awarded the MBE.

Ellie is now setting her sights on competing in the London 2012 Games where she is likely to swim in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, and the 200m medley. She is also currently busy learning how to drive!

Here are her answers to the questions posed by the School Reporters from Hamble College in Hampshire. And you can find out more about the other nine contenders for the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize here

Q: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A: A bird - so I could fly free everywhere!

Q: When did you first realise you wanted a career in your sport and why?

A: When I was 10 I knew what I wanted to be active, I always enjoyed swimming especially competing and wanted to be the best I could be.

Q: What sacrifices have your friends and family had to make for your sporting career?

A: The biggest is probably that mum and myself moved to live in Swansea six days a week so I can train there and we only get to go home to the rest of the family at the weekends.

Q: What do the 2012 Olympics being in London mean to you?

A: It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform on a major stage and to a home crowd with all my friends and relatives able to come and watch.

Q: What would you like to have achieved in 10 years' time?

A: I would like to still be swimming successfully.

Michael Phelps
Ellie would love to see Michael Phelps in action in London

Q: If you could have an Olympic or Paralympic ticket for 2012, which event would it be for and why?

A: Swimming, so I would be able to see great swimmers like Michael Phelps.

Q: Do you have to have a special diet for your training? If so, what do you miss most when you're on it?

A: I have to eat very sensibly and have a balanced diet. I miss cakes the most as I like baking!

Q: What has been the best - and the worst - moments of your sporting career so far?

A: The best was winning gold medals in Beijing and the worst was losing to Mirjam de Koning-Peper in 100m freestyle at European Championships earlier this year.

Q: Who was your childhood idol and why?

A: Nyree Lewis - it was watching her in 2004 Paralympics that inspired me to compete and follow my dream.

Q: What is your worst habit(s)?

A: Being impatient, especially with timekeeping!

2011 YSPOTY contenders: Liam Broady Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report
2011 YSPOTY contenders: Sally Brown Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report
Tom Daley Q&A
30 Jul 12 |  School Report
2011 YSPOTY contenders: Lucy Garner Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report
Jack Laugher Q&A
06 Aug 12 |  School Report
2011 YSPOTY contenders: Pat McCormack Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report
2011 YSPOTY contenders: Laura Robson Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report
2011 YSPOTY winner: Lauren Taylor Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report
2011 YSPOTY contenders: Anthony Watson Q&A
25 Nov 11 |  School Report



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