Rebecca Adlington condemns 'nasty' tweets


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The Independent Online

Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington has vowed to avoid the internet during the London 2012 Games after being taunted over her looks and personality by online trolls.

The swimmer, who will defend two Olympic gold medals this summer, said she had been subjected to a number of "nasty" remarks on social networking sites that have left her upset and angry.

In an effort to focus on re-enacting her previous success in the pool, she is giving her Twitter account a wide berth during July and August.

Adlington, 23, who has nearly 50,000 followers on the microblogging site, told the Daily Mail: "I used to read all the stuff about me. I learned very quickly not to do that.

"Most things that 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's just nasty comments about things I can't control."

The swimmer added: "It is awful and I get angry. Even if there are 10 nice comments, you get one idiot. I've now given up. I won't be checking Twitter or going on it a lot during the Games. I think I will just tweet when its over."

The Nottinghamshire-born athlete, who took gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle at the Beijing 2008 Games, admitted she has to regularly use the block button on Twitter to stop people sending her cruel messages.

She said: "The messages of support are amazing but you do 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 can't help the way I look or who I am. People are not always going to like me but that has nothing to do with my swimming. That really gets me going."

The swimmer's comments come following recent reports that heptathlete and fellow Olympic hopeful Jessica Ennis was labelled fat by a senior figure at UK Athletics.