Paralympics: Swimmer Ellie Simmonds confirms retirement after Tokyo 2020

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Ellie Simmonds has announced her retirement  (Getty Images)
Ellie Simmonds has announced her retirement (Getty Images)

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds has officially confirmed her retirement from the sport.

The 26-year-old won five Paralympic medals having made her debut as a 13-year-old at Beijing 2008.

She was one of Paralympics GB’s flagbearers at the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony, but missed out on a medal in Japan.

“I’ve heard it said by others that you know when it is time to call it a day, and having given a lot of thought to it, I know that now is the right time for me,” Simmonds said.

“Since my first international competition in 2006 aged 12 to the Tokyo Paralympics, competing for Great Britain has been the greatest honour of my life.

“From having my dreams come true as a wide-eyed and excited 13-year-old in Beijing and then competing in a home Games in 2012 through to now it’s hard to convey just how proud, honoured and grateful I am for everything, not least the wonderful support I’ve had.”

Born in Walsall, Simmonds small stature is due to achondroplasia.

She took victory in both the S6 100 metres freestyle and 400 metres freestyle in Beijing, defending the latter title in London 2012 and adding a SM6 200m individual medley gold.

She secured back-to-back titles in the event in Rio de Janeiro and also secured eight World Para Swimming Championship medals.

“To all my GB teammates past, and those currently on the team, thank you! I can’t wait to watch you smash it in the future,” continued Simmonds.

“I love swimming and I’ll still be found in the pool, but now I’ll be able to do it without the 04:30 alarm!”

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