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Treasured Midlands' athlete has her eyes on Sports Personality of the Year award

Ellie Simmonds winning gold at the London 2012 Paralympics. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

2012 has been a fantastic year for Britain and an impressive 12 months for athletics in the Midlands. Now, with the Sports Personality of the Year Award about to be announced, Ellie Simmonds from Walsall, is hoping to be crowned the winner.

Ellie Simmonds is a four-times Paralympic champion and five times world record holder in swimming. With four medals and two world records, Ellie helped Britain into third place at this year's Paralympic Games in London.

She was born with Achondroplasia dwarfism in 1994 and began swimming at the age of five.

Ellie Simmonds has already been the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year – winning in 2008, after rocketing into the public eye during the Beijing Paralympics, where she won two gold medals.

This year is the 59th Sports Personality of the Year and is considered the closest final ever.

Other sport personalities hoping to win are Nicola Adams, Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Katherine Grainger, Sir Chris Hoy, Rory McIlroy, Andy Murray, Sarah Storey, David Weir and Bradley Wiggins.

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Ellie Simmonds' second homecoming

Ellie Simmonds with her medals on display today in Walsall Credit: ITV Central

Ellie Simmonds enjoyed a second homecoming today in Walsall, Aldridge.

Local businesses organised the day to raise money for Ellie's own charity the Dwarf Sport Association and to keep the London 2012 spirit alive.

Fans waiting to have pictures signed by Ellie Simmonds Credit: ITV Central
Crowds line up to meet Ellie the golden girl of Walsall Credit: ITV Central

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds excited about second homecoming parade

A second event to celebrate the success of paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds is taking place in her home town of Aldridge near Walsall this afternoon.

It's been organised by shopkeepers in the High Street to raise money for the Dwarf Sports Association.

It follows a homecoming parade which took place in Walsall on Monday when Ellie toured the town on an open-top bus.

Ellie Simmonds homecoming, full report

It has been a summer of sporting success with the Olympic and Paralympic games in London and the Midlands played its part when it came to helping the country climb that medal table.

Ellie Simmonds was one of the local paralympic stars who wowed the world with her stunning performances in the swimming pool.

Today she took a tour of where she grew up, to thank everyone for their support and of course to show off those medals.

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Ellie Simmonds: I don't want this summer to end...

Ahead of today's Great North Run, the annual half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields, ITV News caught up with ParalympicsGB medallist Ellie Simmonds from Walsall.

Ellie, who won two golds, a silver and a bronze in London, was invited to cheer on those taking part in today's event. She says it has been a great summer.

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