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Ellie Robinson says positive reaction post-race interview makes her ‘proud to be British’ 

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Ellie Robinson says the response to her forceful post-race interview, in which she hailed her fifth-place finish as a “triumph” for her chronic hip condition, has “made her proud to be British.”

The Northampton-born Paralympic, 20, reached the final of the S6 50m butterfly, but had not disclosed that she suffers from a form of osteoarthritis that has left her in increasingly excruciating pain.

The one-year delay to the Paralympics ran out of time on the deteriorating right hip and after the race she acknowledged that her place was remarkable under the circumstances.

Ellie appeared on Lorraine today to speak about the viral interview, in which she said the overwhelming support she’s received since the event “removed a huge barrier for her.”

Paralympic Ellie Robinson, 20, reached the final of the S6 50m butterfly, although she had not made it public that she suffers from a form of osteoarthritis that has left her in increasingly excruciating pain. She is pictured during swim practice ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Ellie appeared on Lorraine today to speak about the viral interview, in which she said the overwhelming support she’s received since the event “removed a huge barrier for her.”

Commenting on her post-match interview, she said: “It showed that the British public don’t just care about medals, but they also care about characters and story, and that’s what makes you proud to be British.

‘I know many disabled people and athletes who struggle with identity and who have broken through a huge barrier for me. So I can just say to the British public, ‘Thank you so much’.’

She continued: “There was a lot of emotion coming out, I think after the year everyone has had, there’s been so much uncertainty with the pandemic and I wanted to share my story.

“I really wanted to put people back in control and remind people that even in these uncertain times you can dictate your future, your future doesn’t have to dictate you.”

Ellie, pictured, was diagnosed with Perthes disease in her right hip in 2012 after swimming training ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Ellie, pictured, was diagnosed with Perthes disease in her right hip in 2012 after swimming training ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Commenting on her post-match interview, she said: 'It showed that the British public don't just care about medals, but they also care about characters and story and that's what makes you proud to be British'

Commenting on her post-match interview, she said: ‘It showed that the British public don’t just care about medals, but they also care about characters and story and that’s what makes you proud to be British’

Ellie was diagnosed in 2012 with Perthes disease in her right hip, a rare childhood disease in which poor blood supply affects the joints.

Describing her condition, the swimmer said: “They don’t know how, but the blood supply to the hip is being cut off. Half of my hip collapsed, it rebuilt itself, but being 11 years old it wasn’t in the right shape.

“It is aggravated by swimming, exercise and exercise. I like to think that each hip has a finite amount of time, and over the time you swim, it takes a lot out of it. Doctors say it’s remarkable that it took nine years.’

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Ellie took gold in the women’s S6 50m butterfly, for which she holds the Paralympic record, and bronze in the women’s S6 100m freestyle.

“I can definitely say that in the years after Rio I put so much pressure on myself to win more gold than I did in Rio,” said Ellie.

Ellie is pictured with her bronze medal after the women's 100m freestyle S6 final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the tenth day of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Ellie is pictured with her bronze medal after the women’s 100m freestyle S6 final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the tenth day of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Ellie, who eventually needs a hip replacement, plans to build a new life in something related to the history and politics she completes.  She is pictured during swim practice ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Ellie, who eventually needs a hip replacement, plans to build a new life in something related to the history and politics she completes. She is pictured during swim practice ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

“I was completely fixated by medals and I learned that medals are not all or everything.”

Ellie says she is “done” with her Paralympic career, but that she “wouldn’t have wanted to end it any other way.”

“Like I said, it’s shaped my character so much, and the British public has done wonders for my self-esteem.”

She recalled speaking to her fellow athletes before she left Tokyo, adding: “I said, ‘Smash it, go for gold, but it’s your character, it’s who you are, everyone who will survive the pandemic. you should be damn proud of yourself”.’

Ellie, who eventually needs a hip replacement, plans to build a new life in something related to the history and politics she completes.

‘I’ll do a degree in history and politics if I could bring’ [media and her degree] all together in the most wonderful way, that would be fantastic.

“If people want to listen to me, I’ll be happy to teach them what I have to say. I like doing things like this.’

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