Parents' pride at 'incredible' win

Ellie Simmonds celebrates her victory in the 400m freestyle S6 final ahead of American Victoria Arlen, below

Ellie Simmonds celebrates her victory in the 400m freestyle S6 final ahead of American Victoria Arlen, below

First published in National Sport News © by

The parents of swimming sensation Ellie Simmonds hailed her London 2012 gold medal win as the "most incredible" achievement of her already glittering career.

Steve and Val Simmonds watched nervously from the stands as their 17-year-old daughter stormed to victory in the S6 400-metre freestyle final on Saturday night, touching home ahead of rival Victoria Arlen to add to the two golds she won in Beijing four years ago.

Speaking after the race, Mr Simmonds revealed his daughter was determined to beat the previous world record - held by Arlen - which she managed by a massive five-second margin. "That was the most incredible thing I've ever seen her do," he added.

"The 400-metre world record has got Eleanor Simmonds' name written all over it and she wanted it back. It was the top of her Christmas list and she's got it."

Mr Simmonds praised the "unreal atmosphere" inside the Aquatics Centre which he believed helped Ellie in her quest for a third Paralympic gold.

He added: "There were seriously loud noises for all the British athletes. It was an unreal atmosphere. I think the encouragement from the crowd will have made a difference."

Simmonds relocated to Swansea with her mother Val at the age of 11 so she could be trained by coach Billy Pye in a 50-metre pool.

Ellie's father, brother and three sisters remained in the family's home town of Walsall, and she continues to travel back on weekends to visit them.

Mrs Simmonds said: "You want to give your children the best possible opportunity. It certainly rewards that. I was shaking all the way through the race. It was only in the last 20 metres we were confident she would win."

Despite her victory, Ellie's family said celebrations were being put on hold as she aims for more success in the pool in the S6 200m individual medley.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree