EXCLUSIVE: ‘I wanna do crazy things!’ Ellie Simmonds claims she’s got her ‘confidence back’ after Strictly stint – revealing she booked U.S. trip AND went skydiving after being voted off
Ellie Simmonds has revealed she’s got her confidence back after competing in Strictly Come Dancing and is now keen on doing more ‘crazy things’.
The former Paralympic swimmer, 28, who was voted off the BBC ballroom show just over two weeks ago, claimed she booked a last-minute U.S. trip and has been skydiving since.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards on Tuesday, she gushed: ‘I’ve got my confidence back and I just wanted to travel again.
EXCLUSIVE: Ellie Simmonds has revealed she’s got her confidence back after competing in Strictly Come Dancing and is now keen on doing more ‘crazy things’
‘After Strictly I just wanted to… I was like, “Where should I go?” And yeah, so I thought, “Let’s go to Washington D.C. and the White House.”‘
The sportswoman – who was paired with Nikita Kuzmin as the first person with dwarfism to compete on the show – has remained firm friends with the pro dancer.
Ellie, who turned 28 just over a week ago, said: ‘Well, I literally went skydiving with Nikita. He got me skydiving for my birthday, yeah, it was amazing.
‘So I think I would like to do more crazy like that. Like, yeah, climb things and I’m ready for adventures now, to do something way out of my comfort zone.
Good for her! The former Paralympic swimmer, 28, who was voted off the BBC ballroom show over two weeks ago, claimed she booked a last-minute U.S. trip and has been skydiving since
‘I danced in front of nine million people so now I can do anything.’
The event celebrates dedicated healthcare workers and, discussing how the NHS has helped her, she continued: ‘It’s been there for me years and years.
‘I’ve been growing up with a disability. I’ve been going to the hospital and to the doctors quite regularly and having an operations as well and I couldn’t have done that without the NHS and the support.
‘You always get those nurses that help you and the doctors as well. So the NHS and especially the past couple of years as well, like my, my auntie and my grandma had cancer last year and without the NHS they wouldn’t… like they had so much support throughout their their treatments and stuff.
Woohoo! Speaking exclusively to MailOnline at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards on Tuesday, she gushed: ‘I’ve got my confidence back and I just wanted to travel again
‘So it means a lot to have the NHS and what would we do without them? To have a night like this to celebrate them is just amazing.’
It comes after Ellie compared her Strictly Come Dancing exit to heartbreak as she reflected on her time on the show.
She confessed: ‘I’ve found [since my exit] that it’s like coming out of heartbreak.
In her element: ‘After Strictly I just wanted to… I was like, “Where should I go?” And yeah, so I thought, “Let’s go to Washington D.C. and the White House”‘
‘Strictly is everything, and it’s been the most incredible time. I’ve been doing it for seven weeks and now it’s all over all of a sudden.’
Ellie admitted she and Nikita were ‘so shocked’ when they found themselves in the bottom two with Molly and her pro partner Carlos Gu.
She added: ‘We were so shocked. We don’t want anybody to be in the dance off.
‘When we saw that red light was on us and Molly and Carlos, who are absolutely incredible, it was so sad.’
Devastated: It comes after Ellie compared her Strictly Come Dancing exit to heartbreak as she reflected on her time on the show
On her final show, Ellie scored 33 points for her Charleston, and Nikita has now admitted the moment was ‘bittersweet’, while still voicing his pride.
As she was shown a montage of their time together, Ellie said: ‘Oh no, don’t make me emotional, I’ve been non-stop crying since Saturday night anyway!’
She added: ‘The Strictly experience has been everything to me.’
The athlete went on to praise Nikita for helping to dispel myths that dance isn’t for everyone and for ‘changing lives’ of viewers with disabilities who may have believed that they couldn’t dance.
Ellie gushed: ‘Nikita is the best. What he’s done with our choreography; he’s realised everybody can dance and adapted it to me.
‘It shows that choreographers can do anything, with dwarfism or any other disability. [He’s] changed people’s lives.’
Asked if he wanted to say a few words to Ellie, Nikita said: ‘Its honestly a little bit difficult to talk right now but I’m just really grateful to have had this experience, to have had every single second with you. Every moment, even our struggles.
‘You’ve made me so much better not only as a choreographer but you’ve taught me so much as a person and taught me so much about life… It’s honestly been one of the best times in my life and I will be forever grateful for it and I really mean that.’
All over: During an emotional appearance on It Takes Two , the athlete detailed her ‘horrible’ departure in a chat with host Rylan Clark