OBE is “amazing” honour, says swim champion Ellie

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds with members of the Yeoman of the Guards after she received her OBE from the Prince of Wales

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds with members of the Yeoman of the Guards after she received her OBE from the Prince of Wales

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SWIMMER Ellie Simmonds spoke of her pride after being awarded an OBE for services to Paralympic sport at Buckingham Palace.

The 18-year-old from Walsall, who added to her two Beijing golds with two more at London 2012, said it was “amazing” to be honoured at yesterday’s event in London.

After being given the award by Prince Charles she said: “It was such a nice ceremony. It feels amazing.

“He said ‘Well done on your swimming’, and he asked what my next focus was, so it was really nice.”

Simmonds, who said her next long-term goal is the Olympics in Rio de Janiero in 2016, described receiving her OBE as a bonus which capped a successful year.

Eleven-times Paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey said that being made a Dame was a “pinch yourself moment”.

The 35-year-old star, who competed at the pool and cycle track across the last six Paralympic Games, was honoured for her service to para-cycling.

She said: “It’s amazing. It’s just so hard to put into words, the ceremony and the protocol and the whole elegance of it is just absolutely amazing.”

Taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones and rower Katherine Copeland were awarded MBEs yesterday.

Colonel Edward Fenton, the former commander of 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 Scots) - commonly known as the Black Watch - was awarded a Distinguished Service Order in recognition of his “gallant leadership” while serving in Afghanistan.

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