Australians outraged as Paralympian Ellie Cole exposes unequal treatment of disabled athletes: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

Australians outraged as Paralympian Ellie Cole exposes unequal treatment of disabled athletes: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

Australians voiced their frustration and disappointment following Paralympian Ellie Cole’s candid revelations about the treatment of disabled athletes by sporting bodies. 

Wednesday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! saw the 32-year-old open the nation’s eyes to the struggles she faced due to her disability.

The swimmer shared with fellow contestant Brittany Hockley that her achievements often went received less recognition than those of her Olympic counterparts.

She recalled the heartbreaking moment she learned about the indifference towards disabled athletes.

‘It is like the show didn’t start until we were finished,’ Ellie recounted, adding she believed it was reflective of wider societal attitudes.

Australians outraged as Paralympian Ellie Cole exposes unequal treatment of disabled athletes: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

Australians are voicing their frustration and disappointment following Paralympian Ellie Cole’s candid revelations about the treatment of Olympians and Paralympians by sporting bodies

Wednesday night's episode of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here saw the 32-year-opened the nation's eyes to the struggles she faced due to her disability

Wednesday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here saw the 32-year-opened the nation’s eyes to the struggles she faced due to her disability

Cole told her story of being overshadowed, even when nominated for Junior Sports Person of the Year, despite outstanding performances.

‘They gave the award to [an Olympic] silver medallist,’ she said, highlighting the preferential treatment given to Olympic athletes. 

The tragic tale struck a chord with viewers. 

One fan tweeted, ‘I can’t describe the complete frustration and anger I feel after hearing Ellie lay out the facts like that. I know all Olympians train hard, but a Paralympian has that little bit extra to go.’ 

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Her story of being overshadowed, even when nominated for Junior Sports Person of the Year, despite outstanding performances, struck a chord with viewers

Her story of being overshadowed, even when nominated for Junior Sports Person of the Year, despite outstanding performances, struck a chord with viewers

Ellie also pointed out the stark contrast in monetary rewards, saying, ‘In the Olympics, it is $20,000 for a gold, $15,000 for a silver, and $10,000 for a bronze. In the Paralympics, we got nothing.’

It wasn’t until the Tokyo games during COVID-19 when the Australian team received funding due to growing public support. 

This prompted another fan to tweet, ‘Come on Australia, we need to show Ellie that we love and appreciate her, vote for her to win, I am.’

The sentiment of support for Cole was echoed across social media platforms, calling for an acknowledgment of her and her fellow Paralympians’ achievements. 

A third viewer expressed their heartache, tweeting, ‘It’s so heartbreaking hearing about the discrimination against our Paralympians; it’s good to hear how far we’ve come but there’s still so far to go #ImACelebrityAU.’ 

After losing her right leg to cancer at the tender age of three years, at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics she became Australia¿s most decorated female Paralympic athlete

After losing her right leg to cancer at the tender age of three years, at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics she became Australia’s most decorated female Paralympic athlete

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