Ellie Simmonds finds it difficult to determine which Paralympic Games has been most enjoyable, Beijing or London. The British poster girl for London 2012 rose to prominence as a precocious 13-year-old four years ago, winning an amazing two gold medals in China.
Over the last week, at her home Games, she doubled her number of Paralympic gold medals, and added an additional silver and bronze to complete the set. She has undoubtedly been one of the stars of the summer in front of an adoring public, but it is clear her debut will forever be difficult to top for Walsall-born Simmonds.
“They have both been two different events,” said the 17-year-old, who now lives in Swansea.
“Beijing being my first games was outstanding and to come away with two gold medals was so unexpected at only 13. Then there is London being a home Games, and what I have been able to achieve getting those medals has been amazing in front of a home crowd.
“So they are both on the same level, both amazing.”
Simmonds’ golds this time around came in the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley. She also claimed new personal bests in each of her events and picked up two world records.
“I has been emotional and very exciting to compete at a home Games, the atmosphere has been amazing,” she said. “To come away with two golds, a silver and a bronze I couldn’t have asked for anything better to be honest. And to get PBs in all my events, and two world records, I have been so excited and can’t believe I’m coming away with those medals.”
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