Paralympian Ellie Cole gushes over newborn son: “He’s perfect!”

How sweet!
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Ellie Cole and partner Silvia Scognamiglio are now a family of three following the birth of their son, Felix Parker Cole, earlier this year.

But their fur-baby Chihuahuas, Franklin, and Lacey, are still “unsure” about their new brother moving in!

“They give him lots of side eyes,” says Ellie, 32, with a smile.

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Baby Felix has been “a dream,” says the couple. (Credit: New Idea)

The couple welcomed Felix in February and couldn’t be happier. New Idea caught up with the quadruple Paralympian and star of the most recent season of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! ahead of her trip to Paris in July.

Ellie will be commentating on the swimming at the 2024 Olympics for the Nine Network, before returning to Australia to co-host Nine’s coverage of the Paralympic Games from August 28. Before then, Ellie’s still getting to grips with parenthood!

Each week, she says, you are “learning as you go”.

For her, this is the “enjoyable aspect” of being a parent, and both she and Silvia, 36, are “loving every moment”.

“I didn’t know anything about motherhood,” Ellie admits. “I’m often finding myself sitting there, being like, ‘When do babies start to self-soothe?’ and things like that. At the moment, it’s all uncharted waters for us.”

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“There’s no manual to motherhood,” says Ellie. (Credit: New Idea)

Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian – Ellie has won 17 Paralympic Games swimming medals and played wheelchair basketball – shares that adjusting to having a baby around has been a “transition”.

She explains, that the stories you hear about “how you’re not going to sleep” and “how your whole life is going to change” meant she was preparing for the worst. “I was expecting a worst-case scenario, so in the grand scheme of things I’m pretty chuffed with how chill [Felix] is and how he’s made our life better,” she says.

“I thought I was going to have to change who I was completely, but he’s complemented our lives perfectly.”

Juggling career and motherhood has been “challenging” for Ellie due to the travel aspect of her job.

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I’m A Celeb “superfan” Ellie had a blast in the jungle. (Credit: Channel Nine)

This year saw her away from home for five and a half weeks to take part in I’m A Celebrity, leaving Silvia at home to look after Felix. Her partner’s obvious bond with their son put her mind at rest, however.

“The times when I am at home and I’m seeing how Silv and Felix have completely fallen in love with each other, I feel quite comfortable with the travel I’m doing,” she explains.

“I’m wanting to rush home as quickly as I can now, though, which wasn’t the case before having Felix. I was always having the best time travelling.”

When Ellie isn’t navigating her work and mum life with Silvia, an initiative she’s proud to support is Toyota’s Para-sport Equipment Fund, which provides opportunities for Aussies with disabilities to participate in Para-sport by addressing the cost of obtaining equipment.

In 2018, Toyota helped Ellie upgrade her prosthetic leg, which allowed her to become even more mobile. Her right leg was amputated following a rare cancer diagnosis when she was just two years old. To add to the ever-growing list of accolades she has accumulated, Ellie has recently started working as a master of ceremonies, where she enjoys “bringing an event to life”.

Her incredible CV only serves to remind her of how far she’s come since her competing days.

“In 2012, I’d won four gold medals at the London Paralympics and I was nominated for the Junior Athlete of the Year at the Sports Performance Awards,” she shares.

“I came second to an Olympian who won a silver medal, and it was frustrating for me at the time because I’d just won four golds – and I was overlooked.”

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Ellie has quite the collection of medals to show her son! (Credit: Getty)

The moment has always stuck with Ellie, so when she was asked to host the Australian Institute of Sport’s Sport Performance Awards in 2023, 11 years later, she appreciated how many positive things have happened for the Paralympic movement in that time.

With a fully packed schedule for the rest of the year, Ellie admits that while she would “love a holiday”, she wouldn’t have things any other way.

“This has been an incredible year for us – and Felix is a dream!” she says happily.

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