Ellie Cole OAM (swimming) brought down the curtain on a brilliant career after competing in the women’s 100m freestyle S9 at her third Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Ellie made her debut as an 18-year-old at the Delhi 2010 Games where she won bronze in the women’s 100m freestyle S9 and 100m butterfly S9. After missing Glasgow 2014 due to injury rehabilitation, she returned to the Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 to win silver in 100m backstroke S9 and bronze in the 100m freestyle S9, becoming the first Australian female para swimmer to win four medals at the Games.
Ellie is also Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian with 17 medals including six gold across four Games (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) and capped off her Paralympic career as Australia’s flagbearer at the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony.
When Ellie was 2 she was diagnosed with a sarcoma that had wrapped around the nerves of her right leg, forcing doctors to amputate above her knee. As part of her rehab, she was enrolled in swimming lessons, mastering swimming in a straight line in two weeks, a skill her instructors expected to take a year. She started swimming competitively in 2003 and first represented Australia at the 2006 world championships where she won silver in the 100m backstroke.
Cole has been instrumental in promoting the Para-sport movement across Australia for both Paralympics Australia and the Commonwealth Sport Movement and was appointed Australian Team General Manager for the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Ellie, who has a Bachelor of Sports Coaching and Exercise Science from the Australian Catholic University, was named the Most Outstanding Woman in Sport at the Australian Women in Sport Awards in 2022.
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