HOLLIE Arnold MBE is one of the UK’s most loved Paralympian athletes having won Paralympic, World, Commonwealth and European Gold medals in the F46 javelin event.
But as Hollie prepares to take part in the special 2020 edition of I’m A Celebrity, who is the famed Paralympian and what has she said about her disability in the past?
What has Hollie Arnold said about her disability?
Hollie has often spoken about her disability and how she has learned to live without her right arm – and go on to be one of the best F46 Javelin throwers in the world.
She told Stylist that mental health played a big part in helping her “love herself in her own skin”.
She said: “I think it was a big journey for me being disabled because I hated the way I looked.
“I used to hide my disability, and I got to an age where I said: ‘I’m never going to have the other arm, so you should accept the way you are’.
“I’m an athlete, I get to go to the Paralympics and have such amazing – and crazy – opportunities.
“I love the way I look now, it’s a part of me. It doesn’t define me, it’s just a part of me.
“I think I would still be in sport if I had two arms. It’s given me a great pathway, so I can’t complain.”
Meanwhile, days before her appearance on I’m A Celebrity in November 2020, she said she didn’t want her appearance on the hit ITV show to concentrate solely on her disability.
She said: “I don’t want it to be about my disability. Yes I have a missing arm and I am in the Paralympics but I want to show people nothing stops me and it shouldn’t stop anyone else either.”
She added: “I hope by going on the programme, it inspires people. I want people to look and see that I am scared but I am giving it a go.”
What disability does Hollie have?
The 26-year-old from Grimsby was born without her right forearm.
She is classified as an F46 athlete.
The F stands for field, meaning she takes part in a field event.
The Paralympic website states that F45 and F46 athletes have “upper limb/s affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement”.
What sport does she compete in at the Paralympics?
Hollie attended Cordeaux Academy in Louth and was a star at Cleethorpes Athletics Club, where she discovered her passion for competing in the F46 javelin category.
She competed at her first disability sport event at the age of 11 in Blackpool. She won seven gold medals that day, and hasn’t stopped since.
She then went on to become the youngest ever field athlete, aged 13, to ever compete in the Paralympics/Olympics, at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing.
She also threw a personal best in 2012 Summer Paralympics in London before taking the the gold medal in the F46 javelin in the 2016 Summer Paralympics at Rio, also throwing a new world record at the same time.
But in 2018, Hollie became the first ever javelin thrower in history to hold all four major titles in the same Paralympic/Olympic 4 year cycle.
This included the Rio Paralympics and World Record 2016, London World Championships and world record 2017, Berlin European Championships and course record 2018 and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and world record 2018.
The Paralympian holds four consecutive world titles: 2013 Lyon, 2015 Doha, 2017 London and 2019 Dubai.