Ellie Cole is a three-time Paralympian who has amassed an incredible 15 Paralympic medals (including six gold), 10 world championship medals and four Commonwealth Games medals. She has broken numerous Australian and world records and was the first female S9 swimmer to break 29 seconds in the 50m freestyle when she touched the wall in 28.75 at the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships – smashing her idol Natalie du Toit’s decade old record.
Ellie made her international swimming debut just shy of her 15th birthday at the 2006 IPC Swimming World Championships where she won silver in the 100m backstroke. At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games she bagged another silver medal, in the 100m butterfly, along with two bronze medals.
Dominating the pool at the London 2012 Paralympics, Ellie claimed four gold and two bronze medals. Following the Paralympics, Ellie underwent a double shoulder reconstruction and faced the prospect of never swimming again. Defying the odds, she returned to international competition at the 2015 World Para Swimming Championships where she not only won five medals – three gold, two silver and a bronze – but broke the world record twice in one day in the 100m backstroke.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympics Ellie medalled in all six of her events, defending her Paralympic gold in the 100m backstroke and in the 4x100m freestyle relay (34 points), breaking the world record Cole and her Australian teammates had set four years earlier in London.