Monday 2nd December 2019
Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear brand, has signed British Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE to join its growing roster of British talent on Team Speedo.
Ellie recently took home a bronze medal in the S6 400m freestyle podium at the World Para Swimming Championships in London this September – 13 years on from her World Championship debut. Her performances puts her in a promising position as she prepares for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, which is now in the swimmer’s sights.
Speaking about joining Team Speedo, Ellie said: “I can’t believe I’m going to be a Speedo ambassador, it’s a brand I’ve worn since childhood. For me it’s about being the best and wearing the best equipment, and going out there to compete you want to be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing – Speedo does that.
“Racing in a Speedo Faskskin suit makes me feel unstoppable. When you stand behind your block in your kit, you’re ready to go out there feeling confident. I always feel like I just glide through the water.”
Following her success at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, where she won one gold and one bronze medal, Ellie took a hiatus from the sport in which she had become a household name after falling out of love with swimming. Since getting back into the pool at the end of 2017, Ellie has refocused her goals and a rekindled her love affair with the water, which culminated in her podium appearances in London – with her emotional interviews afterwards widely praised and shared across social media.
“I was in a really low place leading towards Rio 2016,” Ellie adds. “It was supposed to be one of the best moments of my life but I hated swimming and everything about it. Mentally, that was really hard as some days I would wake up for training at 4:30am and just didn’t want to do it. What really helped me was just taking a back seat from the sport and realising how amazing swimming is, the opportunities it has given me and the people I get to meet. It made me realise what it means to me. Doing that helped me fall back in love with my sport and I’m really thankful for that.
“Now I’m looking forward to being part of Team Speedo especially in my journey towards Tokyo, and being able to wear Speedo with pride alongside all these other incredible Team Speedo swimmers is amazing. Sometimes swimming is a sport when you’re on your own, but knowing that Speedo and the team of athletes are there supporting you on your way, it really helps.”
Ellie is no stranger to success in the pool, being one of the most recognised athletes in Para Swimming globally. She won her first two Gold medals at the age of 13 at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, winning another two Golds in London 2012 and setting a World Record in the 400m freestyle before winning a further Gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, setting a world record for the 200m medley.
Ellie got back in the pool at the end of 2017, making a return to the water at the National Para-Swimming Championships. She had a strong set of performances at the 2018 British Para Swimming International Meet where she qualified for her fourth European Championships and after only recently returning to competitive action, she went on to win two silver medals in Dublin, in the S6 400m free and SB6 100m breast.
Rob Hicking, Brand Director, Speedo, added: “Ellie is as phenomenal a swimmer as she is an inspirational person, and we are beyond excited to have her join Team Speedo. Her natural ability, tenacity and positive mindset is what has shaped her as a swimmer, and we can’t wait to take the journey to Tokyo with her. Ellie is a fantastic asset to Team Speedo; she understands how to use the product to her advantage both in terms of technical benefits and how it makes her feel, to make sure she is the best she can be when she is out on the blocks.
“Ellie joining the Speedo family expands our fantastic team of promising British talent, and she knows what it means to be part of a team. For that, we are excited to see what we can achieve together.”
Ellie joins an exciting line-up of British swimmers on Team Speedo including Siobhan Marie-O’Connor, Duncan Scott, Ollie Hynd and Freya Anderson.