A trip to the palace for our Paralympic golden girl

9th January 2009 at 00:00

Teachers and pupils at Swansea's Olchfa Comprehensive School had an afternoon off to celebrate the achievements of their "golden girl" Ellie Simmonds, following her double gold medal-winning performance at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

And there were more celebrations at the school this week after the teenage swimming star set another record, becoming the youngest ever recipient of a New Year Honour. Ellie was appointed an MBE for her services to disabled sport.

The 14-year-old was also the youngest athlete ever to win an individual gold medal.

Ellie, who was born with the condition achondroplasia, or dwarfism, has become an inspiration for disabled young people.

She won the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year award last year, and has vowed to compete in the 2012 London Paralympics.

In an interview with the BBC, Ellie described being awarded the MBE as "a huge and unexpected honour".

Reward our teams, page 3.

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