Strictly 2022: Who is Ellie Simmonds as she joins the line-up? Age, Paralympic medals and Instagram

Ellie Simmonds – from the swimming pool to the Strictly ballroom (Picture: BBC)

Retired swimmer is headed for the ballroom… as she joins the cast of 2022.

The athlete confirmed the news on Twitter, saying: ‘I can’t believe I’m writing this! I’m literally bursting with excitement! It’s been soooo hard keeping this secret as I’ve wanted to tell everyone…’

Ellie, an individual with dwarfism, helmed a BBC documentary back in April 2022 called A World Without Dwarfism – investigating a controversial new drug created to allow children with to grow closer to an average height.

She’s also recently been on our TV screens, providing expert commentary on the .

But just who is Ellie, how old is she and how many Paralympic medals does she currently possess?

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Ellie Simmonds and how old is she?

Ellie Simmonds recently fronted a documentary for the BBC (Picture: Getty Images for The National Lottery)

Ellie – born Eleanor May Simmonds – is a Paralympic champion swimmer, who has now retired.

The swimming star first rose to prominence over a decade ago, winning two golds for Team GB at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics – when she was just aged 13 years old.

That same year, she was crowned BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year.

And in 2009, she made history as the youngest person to receive an MBE from The Queen, aged 14.

Ellie was born on Friday, November 11, 1994, which makes her age 27 at the time of writing.

Where is Ellie Simmonds from?

Ellie Simmonds is originally from Aldridge, a town in the West Midlands.

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s about five miles away from Walsall. And if you’re ever there, keep your eyes peeled – as Aldridge has a gold-painted postbox in Ellie’s honour.

While training as a youngster, Ellie has previously shared that she and her mum would live in Swansea during the week, before returning to Aldridge on a weekend. Later, she would train at Loughborough University.

Ellie is originally from the West Midlands (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BT Sport Industry Awards)

Now that she’s retired from competitive swimming, it’s not known where Ellie currently resides.

How many Paralympic medals does Ellie Simmonds have?

Not one, not two… but eight Paralympic medals belong to Ellie Simmonds.

Her first two Paralympic wins came in Beijing 2008, when she won gold in both the 100m and 400m freestyle.

At London 2012, Ellie picked up a (surely rather heavy?) four medals – including gold in the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley, plus a silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m freestyle.

Adding to her stacked trophy cabinet were a final gold and bronze at Rio 2016, for the 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle respectively.

Just two of Ellie’s eight Paralympic medals (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Not content with Paralympic success alone, Ellie has won a (surely rather heavy?) number of gold medals at the World Para Swimming Championships and World Para Swimming European Championships.

This includes four world golds at Eindhoven 2010, a further three at Montreal 2013 and another for good measure at Glasgow 2015.

And keep in mind: those are just some of the golds, let alone all the silver and bronze medals…

Why was Ellie Simmonds initially disqualified during Tokyo 2020?

In 2021, Ellie – the Tokyo 2020 Games.

She didn’t win any medals during the last go round, but did place fifth in her event: the S6 400m freestyle.

Ellie came fifth in her event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics (Picture: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

However, she was initially disqualified from receiving this placement, due to an issue with her appearing to not touch the wall during one of her turns in the swim.

Fortunately, the decision was later overturned, after it was apparently appealed by Team GB.

Does Ellie Simmonds have a partner or is she married?

We know lots about Ellie’s public career as a sportsperson, but is anything known about her family life?

Many wonder if she has a partner or is married, however it’s not currently known whether she is dating anyone.

There are no clues on social media it seems – as Ellie keeps her Instagram looking smart with swimming pics, stylish outfit snaps and photos from her pals’ events.

Is Ellie Simmonds on Instagram?

Ellie frequently updates fans on social media (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BT Sport Industry Awards)

Yep, you can find Ellie on Instagram at – where she shares photos with over 30,000 followers.

She’s also got a large following on Twitter, over at where she tweets to more than 86,000 people.

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