Who is Ellie Simmonds? Meet the A World Without Dwarfism presenter here


Eve Crosbie

Paralympian athlete Ellie Simmonds is set to make her presenting debut on screens this evening as she fronts A World Without Dwarfism, a new BBC documentary investigating a controversial new drug that claims it can bring an end to her genetic condition

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Want to know more about Ellie and the doc? Find out everything you need to know here…..

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WATCH: Ellie Simmonds reveals thoughts about controversial new Dwarfism drug

Who is Ellie Simmonds?

Ellie Simmonds is a 27-year-old British Paralympian swimmer. She gained national recognition in 2008 when at the tender of 13, she took home two gold medals for Great Britain at the Summer Paralympics in Beijing. She went on to compete in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 games and, in total, has five gold medals to her name as well as one silver and two bronze.

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In the 2009 New Year Honours list, she was awarded an MBE. At the time, she was just 14 years old, making her the youngest person ever to have received the prestigious honour. In 2014, she was upgraded to an OBE.


Ellie has five gold Olympic medals

Last year, she announced her retirement from the sport following the end of the Tokyo Paralympics, meaning that she will not compete anymore. Since then, as well as fronting the documentary, Ellie has also continued her involvement in various charities, including WaterAid and Dwarf Sports Association UK.

What has Ellie Simmonds said about her disability?

Ellie has achondroplasia which is a form of short-limbed dwarfism. Speaking to The Guardian back in 2014, Ellie revealed that she is the youngest of five but that only she and her 32-year-old sister Katie have the genetic condition.

She said: “I’ve always been aware of being shorter, but I felt as if I could do anything. I don’t remember my mum and dad telling me anything and they certainly didn’t make any special allowances for Katie and me.”


In the documentary, Ellie meets other people who have dwarfism

As for whether she would have been interested in taking the cutting-edge medicine which stops dwarfism in its tracks, Ellie has revealed she wouldn’t. Appearing on the This Morning sofa to discuss the topic, she said she would keep her life “exactly the same” even if she had the option to change.

What is A World Without Dwarfism about?

The documentary, which is set to air on BBC One on Tuesday at 9pm, looks at a new drug called vosoritide, which has been developed to treat children who have the same kind of dwarfism as Ellie and explores the practical as well as ethical questions that it raises.

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As the synopsis from the BBC reads: “Travelling around the UK and US, Ellie explores all sides of this contentious debate, following currently available treatments for dwarfism, meeting families embarking on the drug trial, others who feel treatment would have positively impacted their lives and those who are proud of their identity and question the aims of the drug.

“The road to acceptance and inclusion for disabled people has been hard won, and many feel these gains are in danger of being lost, while others see only positives with breakthroughs in modern treatments Ellie draws on her own experiences and reflects on wider questions about the relationship between science and disability.”

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