Whitbread was abandoned in an apartment as a baby and raised in children's homes until she was 14. There was some parental contact but it was unsatisfactory and she was also sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend.
She discovered she was a gifted athlete and was befriended by her white coach, who adopted her when she was 14
has been world and European champion women's javelin thrower and won Olympic bronze (1984) and silver (1988) medals in the sport. She retired in 1990 due to shoulder problems, and now runs her own sports marketing company, Chafford Hundred, is active ion the British Hate Crimes Commission, and develops athletics programs for 11-17-year-olds in the southeast of England.
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