Quick Facts

How acquired
Physical Impairment – Achondroplasia
Date of Birth
June 4, 1998
Kingscliff, NSW
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Ellie Simmons

Career Highlights

Winning her first medal at the 2013 Australian Swimming Championships in the 50m breaststroke

Greatest Moment

Ellie Simmons winning the 200m IM in London


NSW teenager Kate Wilson had a huge 2016. Not only did she make her Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, she  mastered the art of juggling her school studies as she completed the HSC.

Born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism that affects the limbs, Kate began swimming as a child on the recommendation of her paediatrician. By the age of nine, she was competing in interschool competitions and in 2012, she was invited to an AIS Road to Rio camp for junior developing swimmers. Kate says meeting the Australian team at the camp was one of the best experiences of her life.

Motivating it was, as the following year, she won her first medals – twogold and two silver at the 2013 Australian Multiclass Championships, giving her the confidence to commit herself to putting in the hard work to make the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team.

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Kate competed in five events including the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley, and made the final of the 100m breaststroke.

Kate turns to fellow S6 swimmer Ellie Simmons for inspiration. Counting the British athlete’s 200m individual medley at London 2012 as her greatest sporting moment, she recalls when Ellie came up from behind to win gold in the very final moments of the race. As a budding S6 Paralympic athlete, Kate hopes to follow the footsteps of Ellie’s career.

To get into the zone at each swim meet, Kate likes to take her time warming up – to a point that her teammates laugh at her, and she can be found in the marshalling area with a bottle of water and a bottle of Powerade, alternating sips. She’s looking forward to sticking to her pre-competition ritual at Rio 2016.

The oldest of three siblings, Kate has come from a long line of athletes. While she is the first to make a name for herself in swimming, her grandfather Kevin played NRL for the St George Illawarra Dragons and her uncle is Marty O’Connell of the Penrith Panthers.

Out of the pool, Kate loves to spend time at the beach with her friends and also reading fantasy novels, listing the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series’ as her favourites.

In ten years time, Kate hopes to have a completed a degree in sports science and to have a Paralympic medal under her belt. She hopes to have travelled throughout Europe, having spent a substantial amount of time in Paris.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 4x50m freestyle relay Classification: S6
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m breastroke Classification: SB6
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m freestyle Classification: S6
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 200m individual medley Classification: SM6
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 50m freestyle Classification: S6