A teenage weightlifter representing Britain at the Olympics has been targeted by ‘ignorant’ internet trolls who said she looked like a ‘bloke’ and a ‘lesbian’.
Zoe Smith said she had been subjected to a barrage of abuse since featuring in a BBC documentary.
The 18-year-old athlete – who has a boyfriend – has responded by writing a blog about the ‘close-minded, ignorant chauvinistic twerps’ who criticised her physique.
Miss Smith said she and her fellow weightlifters ‘don’t lift weights in order to look hot’ for men and ‘couldn’t give a toss’ if it made them more attractive.
She wrote: ‘Most of the people that do think like this seem to be chauvinistic, pig-headed blokes who feel emasculated by the fact that we are stronger than them. Simple as that.’
She added that it was particularly ‘sad’ to see abuse from girls who labelled her ‘weird’ for her muscular physique.
‘You’d think that young women around the same age as us would commend us,’ she added.
‘But apparently we’re “weird” for not constantly eating c**p, binge drinking regularly and wearing the shortest, tightest dresses that the high street has to offer.’
After the programme about the Team GB weightlifters – entitled ‘Girl Power: Going For Gold’ – was aired on BBC3, Miss Smith received a string of abusive comments on Twitter.
One wrote of Miss Smith and her fellow weightlifters: ‘You wouldn’t marry any of them they’re probably lesbians anyway.’
'My Olympic diet? A pasty a day!' Meet the Greggs employee gunning for marathon gold by running to work and eating pasties
London Mayor Boris Johnson admits paying cash 'a lot' after minister says families who settle bills cash-in-hand are as bad as tax avoiders
When Miss Smith replied that she wouldn’t marry him either, he wrote: ‘I wouldn’t even look at you I’d think you was a bloke and so would 9 out 10 lads,’ before adding; ‘p*** off back to the kitchen and make your boyfriend a sandwich he’s hungry.’
Reporting the exchange on her blog, Miss Smith wrote: ‘To think people still think like this is laughable. We’re in 2012!’
Well wishers: Miss Smith has been deluged with messages of support for standing up to the bullies
Since then Miss Smith has been deluged with messages of support for standing up to the bullies.
Her manager, Gab Stone, said he was ‘immensely proud’ of the way she had responded.
‘She is such a level-headed girl that it is sometimes hard to believe she is only 18,’ he said.
‘This sort of abuse is something we take really seriously and I think some other athletes her age would be really affected by it.
‘But I think the way she has responded is absolutely brilliant.
‘Zoe is absolutely not the stereotype weightlifter – as well as being very talented and hardworking she’s a very pretty girl and incredibly intelligent.’
Comeback: Miss Smith said she and her fellow weightlifters 'don't lift weights in order to look hot' for men and 'couldn't give a toss' if it made them more attractive
The teenager, from Greenwich in South London, is due to arrive in the athletes’ village tomorrow and is competing in the 58kg weight category on Monday.
A British Olympic Authority spokesman said it would not hesitate to call in the police over online threats to athletes.
‘The BOA does not condone abusive behaviour and would not hesitate to involve appropriate law enforcement agencies.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-21...l#ixzz21cSJ5wpJ