Swansea swimming star Ellie Simmonds becomes youngest person in living memory to be appointed OBE
SWANSEA swimming star Ellie Simmonds has become the youngest person in living memory to be appointed OBE.
The 18-year-old Olchfa Comprehensive School pupil, who took double gold in this summer's Paralympic Games, has already been appointed MBE and has been recognised again in the latest New Year's Honours List.
The teenager, who trains in Swansea, said: "It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport."
Her mother Val said her daughter is currently taking a few well deserved days off before entering three weeks of training.
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She said: "We are incredibly proud and she is herself. It is a huge honour.
"To get recognised twice by the age of 18 is incredible.
"She is really pleased because it has been such a marvellous year for sport.
"She sees it as receiving the honour on behalf of the whole British team."
Simmonds, who has achondroplasia dwarfism, won four medals and broke two world records at London 2012, bringing home gold in the S6 400m freestyle and SM6 200m individual medley.
She also won silver in the S6 100m freestyle and bronze in the S6 50m freestyle.
Standing alongside sprint champion Jonnie Peacock, Simmonds helped to extinguish the Paralympic flame at the London 2012 closing ceremony.
Her quest for London 2012 gold was the British public's most anticipated event of the Paralympic Games.
It led to the unprecedented situation of her being named among three athletes with a disability, alongside cyclist Sarah Storey and wheelchair racer David Weir, in the shortlist for the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
The star is hoping to qualify for the swimming World Championships in Canada in the summer.
She is targeting not just the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, but the 2020 and 2024 Games beyond that.