Monday, December 15, 2008

Paralympian swimmer wins BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year

From The Birmingham Post in the UK:

Walsall-born Paralympic double gold medallist Eleanor Simmonds (pictured) has won the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award for 2008.

The 14-year-old swimmer, who now lives in Swansea, covered herself in glory when she took gold in the 100m and 400m freestyle at the Beijing games in September.

On receiving the trophy from boxer Ricky Hatton and footballer Theo Walcott, Eleanor said: “I’d like to thank you. It’s been a good year and a good end to the year.”

At 13, Simmonds, who has achondroplasia (dwarfism), was the youngest member of Great Britain’s Paralympics team in China.

“My life has changed since I won my medals because I get recognised when I walk in the streets or go to the shops. But I’m just Eleanor,” the teenager said.

"This year has been the best year and I'll never forget it - I hope London 2012 will be as good."

She moved from Walsall just over a year ago to join the high performance centre under coach Billy Pye.