While Ellie’s disability has landed her in trouble over the years, (she once threw her prosthetic leg at a boy who was annoying her), overall it has made her a far more determined and inspired athlete.
Originally from Frankston in Victoria, Ellie’s introduction to swimming was part of her rehabilitation after she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two. After a round of treatment that did not reduce the cancer, her parents made the agonising decision to amputate Ellie’s leg to save her life. She had her right leg amputated on Valentine’s Day when she was just three years old.
Ellie began her international swimming career as a 14-year old, at the IPC Swimming World Championships, where she won a silver medal. She went on to win a silver and two bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and an incredible six medals at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Outside of the pool, Ellie is also an outstanding basketball player, having competed for Victoria in the Women’s League for Wheelchair Basketball and taking out Basketball Australia’s Best New Talent for 2013. Whilst her focus for the moment is on swimming, she one day hopes to be the first female Australian Paralympian to win gold medals in two different sports.
It is Ellie’s charisma and her unrivalled sense of humour that make her truly magnetic. She tells her inspiring story in an open and honest manner, with her customary humility and modesty, never for a second, dwelling on the adversity she has overcome and the odds she has beaten to be where she is today.