I’m A Celebrity’s Ellie Cole shares her unexpected love story


Paralympic champ Ellie Cole and a photo of her and her partner Silvia
Images: Ten, Instagram

Australian Paralympic champ Ellie Cole has opened up about how her relationship with her partner Silvia took her by surprise on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.

The swimmer and wheelchair basketballer, who is Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian, retired in 2022. Last week, Ellie ~entered the jungle~ on the wild reality TV show.

In between challenges, Ellie Cole and athlete and cricket WAG Candice Warner discussed their partners.

Ellie Cole shared with her campmates that she and her partner Silvia (above) have been together for eleven years.

“We met at the London Games. She was working for Paralympics Australia,” Ellie recalled.

But when Ellie was asked if she recognised those first interactions as the start of a relationship, she responded, “No, I was straight then.”

Ellie explained to camera, “I just always assumed that I was straight.

“I just remember being in primary school and thinking, ‘When I get older, I’m going to get married to my husband, and we’re going to have six kids by the time I’m twenty.’

“I just always followed that path, because that’s what we grow up thinking we’re going to do, for some reason.”

Ellie hid her relationship from her family

But when Ellie and Silvia started talking every day, their friendship unexpectedly became a relationship.

“I wasn’t sure what [my feelings] were. I thought it was just a fling at first, but [it’s now] eleven years later,” Ellie said.

She said it “just felt right, so I never looked back,” but sadly she kept her relationship secret from her family for many years.

“I didn’t tell my mum for years. It was really hard. I knew that she didn’t approve of same-sex relationships,” Ellie recalled.

“It’s not nice hiding a part of yourself from your parents.

“My mum didn’t find out until we actually bought a house together, like years later.

“My grandma loved Silvia and I think my grandma talked my mum into it a little bit. The last couple of years it’s been great. Silvia comes to all of our Christmases.”

In February, Ellie Cole and her partner Silvia announced the birth of their first child, Felix.

Ellie Cole gets Australia Day Honour

Ellie received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year’s Australia Day honours.

The retired athlete was awarded for her “significant service to sport as an advocate for diversity and inclusion” of Australians with a disability.

When she was two years old, Ellie was diagnosed with a rare tumour. A life-threatening neurosarcoma was wrapped around the nerves in her right leg.

As well as a year of brutal chemotherapy, when Ellie was three her doctors decided to amputate her right leg.

Ellie said on I’m A Celebrity that despite being our most decorated female Paralympian, she never felt that she received the same level of support as other Olympians.

“As a para-athlete, probably up until Tokyo 2020, I really felt like I had to push much harder just to be seen in the same regard,” she said.

“I joined the Campbell sisters [Bronte and Cate] in a training program. Everyone loves the Campbell sisters, and so they should. They’re Australia’s swimming sweethearts, and it was an amazing opportunity to train with them,” Ellie said.

“But I was going into that program as a 15-time Paralympic medallist, and I still had to try and fight for resources and fight for funding to be able to be supported in the same program as an Olympic athlete. That was really challenging.”

Read more:

Ellie Cole and her partner Silvia become mums

Paralympic champ Ellie Cole gets Australia Day Honour

I’m A Celebrity’s Tristan MacManus worried love of dancing would brand him gay

MasterChef’s Khanh Ong just put his whole fist in his mouth on I’m A Celebrity

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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