Fatima Whitbread, MBE (née Vedad) was born on 3 March 1961 in Stoke Newington, London, to a Turkish Cypriot mother and a Greek Cypriot father. She was an unwanted child and was abandoned by her mother as a baby. She spent her first 14 years in a variety of care homes, where she was often neglected and abused.
Whitbread took up athletics at the age of 11 and was eventually adopted by Margaret Whitbread, a former javelin thrower turned national javelin coach, and her husband. She quickly became a talented javelin thrower and was selected for the British Olympic team at the age of 17.
Whitbread won a bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She also won the gold medal at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics and the European Athletics Championships in 1986.
Whitbread’s most famous achievement was breaking the world record in the javelin throw with a throw of 77.44 m (254 ft 3⁄4 in) in the qualifying round of the 1986 European Athletics Championships in Stuttgart. She became the first British athlete to set a world record in a throwing event.
Whitbread is married to athletics agent and promoter Andy Norman. They have one son, Ryan.
Whitbread is a patron of the charity ChildLine, which helps children who are being abused or neglected. She is also a trustee of the charity SportsAid, which helps young athletes.
Awards and honours
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year (1987)
- Member of the British Empire (MBE) (1988)
- English Athletics Hall of Fame (2009)
- UK Athletics Hall of Fame (2012)
Whitbread is considered to be one of the greatest javelin throwers of all time. She was a pioneer for women in athletics and helped to break down barriers for other female athletes.
Whitbread is also a role model for young people who have had difficult upbringings. She has shown that it is possible to overcome adversity and achieve great things.
- Whitbread is a keen painter and sculptor.
- She has her own fitness and nutrition company.
- She is a motivational speaker.
- Retirement and Media Career:
- After retiring from athletics, she transitioned into a career in the media, working as a sports presenter and commentator.
- Whitbread gained additional recognition through her appearances on reality TV shows, most notably “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” in 2011, where she finished in third place.
How many medals has Fatima Whitbread won?
Fatima has had a successful sporting career and has won multiple medals.
Throughout her career she has managed to win 10 top three medals.
In 1979 she won gold in the European Junior Championships shortly before coming third in the Commonwealth Games in 1982.
In the 1983 World Championships Fatima came second which was the year before the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where she earned a bronze medal.
What is Fatima Whitbread’s net worth?
It’s thought Fatima has an estimated net worth of £4million.
She has been able to earn the impressive amount through her sporting and TV career.