Double Olympic medal winner Rebecca Adlington has said she plans to leave Twitter during the Olympic Games because she does not want the negative comments to affect her performance.
Adlington, 23, told The Guardian that she finds the nasty comments and mentions she receives so upsetting she has decided to forgo the site during the games. She said:
I won’t be checking it or going on it a lot during the Games. The messages of support are amazing but you have the chance of someone saying something that is going to be annoying. You don’t want that added stress. You don’t want to be thinking about that. I think I will Tweet once it is over.”
Adlington has almost 50,000 followers and tweets regular updates about her training, as well as anecdotes about her life.
She complained that most of the nasty comments are about her appearance, and have nothing to do with her performance as an athlete.
Most things I read about myself are not swimming related. They are to do with how I look, which has nothing to do with my performance in the pool. [...] It is just nasty comments about things I can't control. I can't help the way I look.
Throughout her record-breaking career AdIington has endured a number of high-profile personal attacks on her appearance. In 2009, a year after she won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, she complained to the BBC after Frankie Boyle said she resembled "someone looking at themselves on the back of a spoon."
She said her favourite thing about the site is the "block button."