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It didn’t work for Mo Farah but Hollie Arnold thinks going on I’m A Celebrity… has made her a better athlete.

The javelin star – born without her right forearm – became the first disabled person to appear on the ITV hit show, filmed in Wales in November.

It turns out being covered in a torrent of guts, offal and slime made Arnold even hungrier to retain her F46 title in Tokyo.

“I lost myself a little when the Paralympics were postponed, but the show helped me find myself again,” said the 27-year-old.

“I couldn’t wait to train; I was so excited to get back into winter training. I’ve always had one goal of defending my title, but this was a fantastic opportunity I never thought I’d get.

“I held my head high in there, I wanted to show people that it doesn’t matter about your disability, it’s what you do with it and it’s how you live your life.”

Arnold left the Castle first, meaning she was tasked with adding Farah, Vernon Kay and eventual winner Giovanna Fletcher into the official post-show WhatsApp group.

“I said to my Mum: ‘I’ve got Vernon Kay’s number, this is crazy!’” she laughed. “I think she wanted me to give it to her.”

Arnold was best remembered for introducing herself with her MBE title and has since spoken of the social media trolling she received as a result.

“I had to take it all on the chin, it was tough to deal with the negatives,” she said. “It’s so heavily edited, you get 20 hours of filming in one hour and that’s the deal. It was strange.

“I do love the fact that I have new followers. I’m not just seen as Hollie Arnold the thrower, I’m Hollie Arnold the human who likes make-up, clothes, fashion and singing and all these different things.”

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Arnold after winning Commonwealth gold in 2018

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Arnold after winning Commonwealth gold in 2018

(Getty Images)

Hollie Arnold the thrower is a dominant force. She holds all four major titles – world, European, Commonwealth and Paralympic – the first ever to do so in the same cycle.

The Lincolnshire native has won four successive world titles and her 44.73m personal best stands as the world record.

Yet Arnold freely admits there has been no immediate reality TV bounce in her performances in Paralympic year.

“Competition hasn’t gone the best for me,” said Arnold, whose best return on five competitions in 2021 is a throw of 40.30m.

“We’ve been doing a lot of technical work, it’s such a technical discipline. I still don’t know everything there is to know about javelin but I’ve learned and developed since Rio.”

She is learning from coach Dave Turner, who she has worked with since 2018, having relocated from Wales to Loughborough.

Arnold is already tracking for a potential world record. ParalympicsGB’s holding camp in Yokohama is effectively an exercise in jet lag recovery but it’s already bringing the best out of her.

“The first day at the camp, we were meant to do an easy session,” she said. “I got a bit excited and threw metres further than I’d gone all season in competition.

“It’s shown straight away that I’m in a good place. That’s when I knew I just needed to get into the Village, to the stadium and it will be fine.

“I must be a born competitor; I simply have to step it up when I’m at a major and I always thrive off the pressure and excitement of the competition.

“I’m not going in expecting to win, I’m expecting to have to fight and to want to win. That’s still really exciting for me.”

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