According to a story published in the Sporting News yesterday, Rebecca Adlington, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Britain, said she was giving up Twitter during the Olympics because people were making fun of the way she looks.
Adlington said “even if you get 10 nice comments, you get one idiot. I’ve now given up.”
She decided to give up tweeting or checking her account because of the added stress of being insulted on a daily basis.
Since the article was published yesterday, Adlington received a huge amount of supportive tweets from fans who were also fed up with her being scrutinized over her looks.
@rNEVERSONjr thank you! I totally agree!
@Oirectine thank you!!
@dufferv1 thank you!
And so on… Adlington’s twitter feed has been blowing up with words of encouragement today. So much so that she has decided to not let the nay-sayers get the best of her. She is going to continue to stay close to her fans during the Olympic games:
@NMBLAKE no not fair on the people who are supporting me! Like interacting with my followers!
This goes to show the double standard in women’s sports, where women are expected to be sex symbols and athletes at the same time. You don’t have to look far to see women athletes who are valued for their looks over their athletic achievements. The terrible tennis player Anna Kournikova and mediocre racing driver Danica Patrick immediately come to mind.
But it also shows the support one can receive from fans when things appear to be bleak. Adlington’s country and fans stepped up in a rally of support for the Olympian, when defeatists reared their ugly head.
[h/t: Business Insider]