Fatima Whitbread MBE

Age: 50
Date of Birth: 3rd March 1961
Phobias: Jumping out of a plane
Missing any special occasions? My best friend’s birthday
Relationship status: Single

Leaving her 13-year-old son behind to go in the jungle will be a tall order for former Javelin World Champion Fatima Whitbread, who reckons taking part in the hit ITV1 show will be as hard as training for a big sports event.
The 50-year-old sportswoman – who broke the world javelin record in the 1986 European Championships and went on to be crowned World Champion a year later – is under no illusion that the experience will be a very difficult one, but she says she is ready for the challenge.

“I hope the jungle experience will enable me to learn how to let go of my son. He is growing up and there will come a time when he goes off to University and he won’t want to come home again!
“I was involved in international sport for a long time and I made a lot of sacrifices. But those days were a long time ago now and I’ve been in my comfort zone. This is going to be tough and I think the boredom levels will be hard.

So what does Fatima hope to get out of her experience? As well as discovering what kind of character she is under extreme circumstances, Fatima hopes taking part on such a popular show will raise her head above the parapet. “I am a single mum and I do have to pay the bills,” she says. “It would be nice if I came out and I had done ok and there was a window of opportunity. All my friends are delighted. They know I like challenges and over the years I have kept a low profile, so I think this will do me good.
“As the jungle looms, I am getting excited. I want to hit the floor running and really enjoy the experience. I will deal with whatever comes my way. “

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Last updated: Thursday 10 November 2011
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