On the age of 13, Ellie Simmonds received two gold medals in freestyle swimming on the 2008 Paralympic Video games. She continued to determine herself as a world-leading swimmer within the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics competitions, gathering an additional seven gold, silver and bronze medals.
After she retired from aggressive swimming, she labored on the award-winning documentary A world with out dwarfism, an exploratory take a look at a brand new drug being trialled to enhance the peak of youngsters with dwarfism, aired on BBC One earlier this 12 months. Extra lately, you will have seen her make her approach via the ballroom and into the home Strictly come dance.
Right here she talks to Cathy Reay, a journalist who additionally has dwarfism, about her experiences as a younger disabled lady within the highlight, illustration and what we will count on from her sooner or later.
GLAMOR: Ellie, thanks for speaking to us, particularly now that you just’re on trip! Inform us the place you might be and what you are as much as.
Ellie Simmonds: I’m within the US, in Colorado. I wasn’t purported to be right here however I needed to get away from all of it and get away from all of it. It was all a bit final minute. Being strict was intense; it was our life – for over two months I lived and breathed that have.
All of the sudden, when it ends, it is over, and that is quite a bit to take. To me, it is like going via a breakup! One thing I liked to do, liked each second of it, was all of a sudden gone. Then I see every part [the Strictly competitors] having enjoyable in Blackpool, and that is exhausting. As a toddler I liked the Nationwide treasure films with Nicolas Cage, and I’ve at all times needed to go to Washington, so I assumed to myself, let’s stay life on the sting and go! My good friend in Colorado was free, so I made a decision to go along with her afterward and right here I’m – within the mountains, at a excessive altitude, in Colorado.
Competing for a big viewers is not any stranger to you. However how did you want performing in a new ones approach [dancing]? Do you assume aggressive swimming ready you properly, or did you discover the expertise/stress fully totally different?
I do not assume you’ll be able to ever put together your self to be on the dance flooring realizing that hundreds of thousands of individuals are watching whereas the judges are there. I believe coping with the nerves of swimming within the 2012 Paralympics helped me, however I nonetheless felt extra nervous than ever each Saturday night time [on Strictly].
Dancing is not only in regards to the actions, the steps or your arm and foot positions. It is also about our faces. Nikita [Ellie’s average-height dancing partner] was unimaginable at telling me the way to act and what to painting within the dance. Nevertheless it’s totally different from swimming as a result of I used to be the one one like me Strict.
The Strictly expertise has given me extra confidence, as a result of if I can dance in entrance of 9 million folks, I can do something.
Earlier this 12 months you offered a documentary a couple of drug that goals to make kids with dwarfism taller; what was that have like for you? Would you love to do extra work associated to our group, or would you slightly do different issues?