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Fatima Whitbread silently suffered from cracked ribs during Celebrity SAS

Ali Condon

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Fatima Whitbread silently suffered from cracked ribs during Celebrity SAS

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Former Olympic athlete Fatima Whitbread was silently suffering from cracked ribs while filming the new season of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

The ex-javelin thrower is among the famous faces taking part in the fourth season of the toughest show on TV, leaping out of a helicopter into a brutal desert bootcamp.

But when Fatima, 61, suffered a serious injury early on in the series, she decided to keep it quiet so she wouldn't be sent home early.

Credit: Channel 4
Credit: Channel 4

Since childhood, Fatima has been the definition of a 'warrior' and so, despite being the oldest contestant of the season, a lot of the more gruelling SAS challenges would have been a cinch for the pro athlete.

However, Fatima met her first serious hurdle on day one when she and her co-stars were tasked with jumping out of a helicopter and parachuting to safety. When she pulled the parachute cord too sharply, she did damage to her ribcage but thought nothing of it.

As the days went on, the pain worsened, but Fatima refused to speak up in case she was eliminated from the competition.

She told Tyla: "I just kept my mouth shut, but it was quite painful.

"I just felt at the time, I had done something. But I wasn’t 100 percent sure. I knew then, as the days went by, it was serious because I couldn’t move laying down or getting up or just trying to get the bag up on my back.

"I was asking everybody as the days went to try and help put my backpack on my shoulders. I just thought: ‘I’m not going to say anything’, because I wanted to go further into the process, and I just got on with it, really.” 

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins has returned. Credit: Pete Dadds/ Channel 4
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins has returned. Credit: Pete Dadds/ Channel 4

And Fatima wasn't the only contestant who suffered a rib injury while filming for the new series.

During a game of murder-ball - a game that's just as fun as it sounds - Paralympian Jonathan Broom Edwards wound up with a "couple of broken ribs" and was briefly sent away for recovery - exactly what Fatima had been avoiding.

Luckily, it wasn't long before Jonathan was back in the game.

"The thing is, if you’ve got no evidence of lung puncture, it’s pretty much that you’re good to go", he said.

"I think I was in [care] for an extra day and a half with my ribs. So I was stretching to try and manage it and doing as much to protect that area as I could, but I just kind of carried on.” 

The two pro athletes explained that, while some viewers might suspect they have an advantage over the other SAS: Who Dares Wins contestants, their training actually makes them more susceptible to injury.

“Sports people are very prone to carrying on with injuries", said Fatima.

Jonathan wound up with a few broken ribs while filming. Credit: Channel 4
Jonathan wound up with a few broken ribs while filming. Credit: Channel 4

"You know that there’s a deadline and you’ve got to get to that point in the best condition you can be in. And the thing about being in great condition is, there’s a very fine line between healthy and injured."

Jonathan added: “You’re on a knife-edge because, being at supreme fitness and light weight, you’re at that point where you could easily get injured. That’s the difference between a normal training regime and SAS training; we have to prioritise recovery sometimes whereas, with SAS, there was none of that. It was just crack on and survive.” 

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins continues on Sunday 11 September at 9pm on Channel 4.

Topics: TV And Film, Channel 4

Ali Condon
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