I felt so lost and couldn’t see the point of getting out of bed before Strictly, says Ellie Simmonds

STRICTLY Come Dancing star Ellie Simmonds has opened up about struggling to get out of bed after a difficult time.

The former Paralympian swimmer – who retired from her sporting career six months ago – admitted she struggled as she tried to figure out where she wanted to take her career next.

Ellie performed her first dance on Strictly over the weekend


Ellie performed her first dance on Strictly over the weekendCredit: BBC ONE
The star said she felt "lost" after quitting swimming


The star said she felt “lost” after quitting swimmingCredit: Adidas

Ellie, 27, who rose to fame when she joined the Great British Paralympics team at the age of 13, has won two gold medals.

However, after almost 18 years of competing, the swimmer stepped back from her sporting career earlier this year.

She admitted to struggling with feeling “emotionally lost” as she “didn’t know what to do” after going into sporting retirement.

Speaking on the E141 Podcast, she said of quitting swimming: “Some days you’re at a high and you love that you don’t have to do the sport, I like that I can lie in, eat what I want, drink what I want.

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“But then other days you get really low where you’re lost. All I’ve known is that I’m good at swimming, all that’s gone now.

“I’m so lucky to have a good support system, because it’s some days you’re lost, emotional, what’s the point in getting out of bed.

“In a weird way we’re in a world where the world is your oyster you can do what you want to do but I don’t know what I want to do next.”

The former Paralympian said she would “give herself a year” to figure out where she would take her career next.

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It comes after Ellie wowed viewers over the weekend as she performed her first routine with pro dancer Nikita Kuzmin.

Ellie, who is the BBC show’s first contestant with dwarfism, had the crowd on their feet with an energetic cha-cha-cha to Dance by DNCE.

She won high praise from the panel of judges on the first live show of the series as she strutted her stuff on stage.

Anton du Beke said: “That was marvellous, a great performance. You powered across the floor, your timing was excellent.”

Craig Revel Horwood said Ellie had “fantastic rhythm” and Motsi Mabuse, 41, added: “You have focus.”

Ellie went on to open up about how her Strictly dance marked her first time wearing high heels as she took to the dance floor.

She revealed she practised at home: “This morning I was wearing them in while brushing my teeth. I never normally do that.”

She said: “As a teenager, I always wanted bigger feet. I am a size two to three, and there’s not much choice for shoes this small.

“They were made for kids, with butterflies or fairy lights. I wanted shoes that looked suitable for adults.”

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Ellie was worried about how the height difference between her and her partner would work, and feared she might get trolled.

She said: “I’ve had it already. Some people have said, ‘How’s the dwarf going to dance?’ It’s sad and it does get to you.”

Ellie is dancing with pro Nikita Kuzmin


Ellie is dancing with pro Nikita KuzminCredit: PA