British swimmer Rebecca Adlington, a two-time gold medalist in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, said she deleted her Twitter account after receiving constant abuse via the social media site about her appearance.
In an interview with British newspaper, The Telegraph, the swimmer said that “before I read everything” written on her Twitter account, until the last message. Now, however, she says she “learned quickly not to do it” because of “appalling and disgusting comments.” And that while there are ten “nice” messages, there is always an “idiot” talking about her appearance.
Adlington also complained that most of the things I read about it “are not related to swimming” and “I can not change” what it is or how it looks. For her, people “will never love,” but not because of swimming, so it gets “sad.”
Rebecca Adlington’s words come shortly after another controversy over the appearance of another athlete. Last week, Jessica Ennis, a heptathlon athlete, was criticized for supposedly being “fat.” On tracks, Ennis silenced her critics when she reached a career best and, incidentally, beat the British record in the category, which was maintained since 2000.
Adlington’s problems began in 2009, after a joke made by comedian Frankie Boyle, who made fun of her appearance. She complained to the BBC and has since gone on to suffer offensive comments online.
After the conquests in Beijing, Adlington had a crisis of confidence and suffered with the pressure of expectation to win. Since then she sought help from psychologist Simon Middlemas, and became a stronger competitor.
For her, “each swimmer has to go through that,” and she says that she definitely “learned more with these disappointments” over the past four years than with victories. In her peak physically and trying to ignore the negative comments, Rebecca arrives in London as a favorite to win gold for the host country.