Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Swimmer Ellie receives MBE at 14

Advertisement

Ellie Simmonds and Billy Pye on being honoured at Buckingham Palace

Paralympic double gold medallist Eleanor Simmonds has become Britain's youngest MBE.

The 14-year-old, who won the 100m and 400m freestyle races at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, received her honour from the Queen.

Walsall-born Ellie, now living in Swansea, was joined at Buckingham Palace by coach Billy Pye, also an MBE, for the honours ceremony.

Beforehand, she admitted her excitement had turned to nervousness.

Ellie, who also became the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality after her triumphs in the pool at just 13, was accompanied by her parents and grandmother.

In an interview with BBC Radio Wales before the ceremony, the swimmer said she hoped they did not cry when she stepped up to get her medal, because that "would be embarrassing".

When we had the letter I was really shocked, I didn't really know why it is ( but) I feel really honoured by the country, it feels really good
Ellie Simmonds

Ellie also said the family who are naturally "very proud" had to keep the MBE a secret until it became public in the New Year's Honours.

"When we had the letter I was really shocked, I didn't really know why it is ( but) I feel really honoured by the country, it feels really good."

However, when asked, she also said that she thought winning the two Paralympic golds beat going to the palace.

"Winning the gold medals for sure because if I didn't get those, I wouldn't have got any of this, like getting the MBE or anything like that."

Ellie, a pupil at Olchfa Comprehensive in Swansea, is now back in the pool and aiming to win more golds at the 2012 Paralympics in London, but also not forgetting her school work.

She said: "I'm back in training, back to normal now . I have to focus on school now, because I'm going back to school I like to get back to normality really."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Novelist Pratchett becomes a Sir
18 Feb 09 |  Entertainment
Paralympic hero in pool reopening
10 Jan 09 |  West Midlands

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific