Aussie swim star Maddie Groves has announced she is giving up her social media accounts just hours after her bombshell withdrawal from the Australian Olympic swimming trials.
She announced Thursday she wouldn’t be competing at the trials, beginning on Saturday in Adelaide, citing “misogynistic perverts in sport” for her boycott.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist took to social media to announce her decision — and followed it up 24 hours later by announcing she is going dark on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
“Thanks for all the support,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I’m deleting this app for the moment but while I’ve got ur attention please consider donating to or sharing my friend’s cancer treatment fund.”
She posted on Instagram that she would not be taking any interviews or making any further public comments.
“I haven’t had time to reply to everyone but I really appreciate the kind words.
“I’m not speaking to any media and I’m going on holidays now.”
Her original post has sent shockwaves through the sport.
“I’m so grateful to feel so supported in this decision,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I genuinely think this will be one of the fastest Australian Swim Teams ever and I encourage everyone to get on the bandwagon early.
“Best of luck to everyone competing at Olympic Trials”.
On Thursday morning, Groves followed her Instagram post with a tweet that took aim at those responsible for her boycott.
“Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers,” she wrote.
“You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus. Time’s UP.
“Make them pervs quake in fear from the number of people supporting a statement that threatens their existence,” she added in a subsequent Instagram post.
It is not immediately clear who Groves was addressing with her post, or whether she was referencing a specific incident.
Groves received support from multiple Australian athletes on social media, including Paralympian Monique Murphy, Olympic diver Brittany O’Brien and Olympic silver medallist Taylor McKeown.
Groves had been due to compete at the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide from this Saturday in a bid to earn a place at her second Olympic Games.
She had been entered in the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle events.
The Brisbane-born swimmer made her Olympic debut at 2016’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she won silver in both the 200m butterfly and 4x100m medley.
She also competed at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where she won two gold medals.
In her first Instagram post, Groves said she would continue to race at other competitions “later in the year”.
Swimming Australia did not immediately return NCA NewsWire’s request for comment.
— with Jasper Bruce, NCA NewsWire
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