Olympic legend Fatima Whitbread is currently still competing in this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here South Africa, and has been winning fans over with her determination and vulnerability.

Although she’s now become known for her signature short hairstyle, the former Olympic javelin thrower didn’t always have her iconic cropped haircut. In a throwback photo from her sporting days, Fatima looks almost unrecognisable with her long, flowing locks as she lifts a trophy.

Fatima rose to prominence in 1979 when she was crowned the European Junior Champion, before achieving global fame as she broke the world record in javelin with a throw of 77.4m.

Fatima Whitbread looks almost unrecognisable with her long hair after winning the women's javelin competition in 1984

In 1990 Fatima had gone for a more brushed out version of her natural curls

Fatima went on to win the 1984 women’s javelin competition during the WAAA Championships, and a photo from the event shows Fatima looking very different from her present day style.

Whilst the athlete is now known for an ultra short hairstyle, with a short back and sides and just a hint of her natural curls on the top of her head, in the throwback snap Fatima can be seen letting her lengthy curls flow in a much longer shoulder length cut.

Fatima switched up her longer curls for a shorter, mushroom style cut in the early 90s that saw her curls brushed out into a looser, more voluminous shape, and although she was rarely photographed out of her athletic clothes, she was snapped accessorising with some pearl earrings.

In the early 2000s she’d switched up her style again, in favour of a shorter, sleeker style, that more closely resembles her current preferred cut. With an extra short micro fringe and plenty of layers, her hair was given a glossy blow dry as she posed with Tory politician, William Hauge at the 'Action Against Addiction' sporting arm 'Sport Against Addiction' gala dinner and auction fundraiser.

Fatima in 2002 (left) and 2012 (right) as she began choosing a much shorter, sleeker style for her hair

Fans think Fatima is 'getting younger' as she smiles with fellow I'm A Celeb contestant Carol Vorderman

By 2012 Fatima had found her signature style, with a short cut on the sides and longer sections on top that she often styled in a tufted mohawk on top of her hair. She’d also opted for a more red-toned colour in her hair, giving it a glossy dark chestnut look.

More recently, Fatima has gone shorter with her hair again, choosing an extra short style on the sides with a short, soft curl on top that’s often blow dried and styled upward to create some height and volume. She’s also returned to her natural cool-toned brunette shade that suits her complexion perfectly.

In a recent photo posted to her Instagram where Fatima posed with fellow I’m A Celeb competitor Carol Vorderman, Fatima’s fans were quick to point out that the former Olympian doesn’t seem to age, with one writing “God in heaven are you getting younger???” while another said: “You’re both looking fabulous!”

One things for certain; Fatima knows exactly what her signature style is, and she’s certainly stayed true to her natural beauty.


By Editor