Olympic swimmer hits back at 'inappropriate and sexist comments' after sharing medal snap

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By stefan armitage

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An Olympic swimmer had called out the "inappropriate and sexist comments" she received after sharing a photo of her proudly displaying her medals.

Linda Cerruti is a 28-year-old Italian synchronized swimmer who has not only competed at the 2020 Summer Olympics, but also amassed 27 medals competing at the European and World championships since 2016.

In fact, earlier this month, the talented athlete won six silver and two bronze medals at the European Aquatics Championships in Rome across solo, duet, and team events.

And as a way of celebrating her achievements, Cerruti took to Instagram to proudly display her new medals in an impressive sea-side snap.

In the original post, which has amassed more than 90,000 likes on the platform, Cerruti can be seen posing in a headstand position, with her eight medals hanging from her split legs.

In the post's caption, she explained that she learned to study at night so that she could train during the day.

"A lot of you ask me if it's hard to train like this," she wrote (translated), "Well it’s definitely a conflicted life, but that holds many joys and beautiful experiences!"

However, despite the post's inspirational message, Cerruti says she soon found herself the subject of sexist comments.

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Cerruti and Costanza Ferro competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

After the photo was shared by various news outlets, the swimmer says she was sent a link by a friend, only to find "hundreds, probably thousands, of inappropriate, sexist comments" made by "vulgar people".

Sharing a screenshot of some of the comments in question, Cerruti explained that her original photo showed her in a pose that is "typical of [her] sport" - and yet, some people still felt the need to make degrading comments.

"After more than 20 years of training and sacrifices, I find it SHAMEFUL to say the least and it really hurts my heart to read this horde of people making jokes that sexualize my body," she writes, adding that she is not complaining, but simply highlighting a "daily reality".

She also offered an apology to any young athletes who follow her on the social media platform who will have to read the comments, but she says that "the alternative is silence, which is one of the reasons why we still read these things today".

The swimmer says that the "minimum" of what she could do in response was to report the comment, before explaining that she believes today's society is "too masculine and very different" from the one she would like to raise children in one day.

Concluding her caption, Cerruti writes: "I would like, at the same time, to thank all the people who have distanced themselves from these comments, have 'defended' me and appreciated the photo for what it is: the image of an artistic swimmer proud of her achievements.

"This is the Italy I proudly represent carrying the tricolor flag around the world."

Featured image credit: Zuma Press / Alamy

Olympic swimmer hits back at 'inappropriate and sexist comments' after sharing medal snap

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

An Olympic swimmer had called out the "inappropriate and sexist comments" she received after sharing a photo of her proudly displaying her medals.

Linda Cerruti is a 28-year-old Italian synchronized swimmer who has not only competed at the 2020 Summer Olympics, but also amassed 27 medals competing at the European and World championships since 2016.

In fact, earlier this month, the talented athlete won six silver and two bronze medals at the European Aquatics Championships in Rome across solo, duet, and team events.

And as a way of celebrating her achievements, Cerruti took to Instagram to proudly display her new medals in an impressive sea-side snap.

In the original post, which has amassed more than 90,000 likes on the platform, Cerruti can be seen posing in a headstand position, with her eight medals hanging from her split legs.

In the post's caption, she explained that she learned to study at night so that she could train during the day.

"A lot of you ask me if it's hard to train like this," she wrote (translated), "Well it’s definitely a conflicted life, but that holds many joys and beautiful experiences!"

However, despite the post's inspirational message, Cerruti says she soon found herself the subject of sexist comments.

size-large wp-image-1263167140
Cerruti and Costanza Ferro competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

After the photo was shared by various news outlets, the swimmer says she was sent a link by a friend, only to find "hundreds, probably thousands, of inappropriate, sexist comments" made by "vulgar people".

Sharing a screenshot of some of the comments in question, Cerruti explained that her original photo showed her in a pose that is "typical of [her] sport" - and yet, some people still felt the need to make degrading comments.

"After more than 20 years of training and sacrifices, I find it SHAMEFUL to say the least and it really hurts my heart to read this horde of people making jokes that sexualize my body," she writes, adding that she is not complaining, but simply highlighting a "daily reality".

She also offered an apology to any young athletes who follow her on the social media platform who will have to read the comments, but she says that "the alternative is silence, which is one of the reasons why we still read these things today".

The swimmer says that the "minimum" of what she could do in response was to report the comment, before explaining that she believes today's society is "too masculine and very different" from the one she would like to raise children in one day.

Concluding her caption, Cerruti writes: "I would like, at the same time, to thank all the people who have distanced themselves from these comments, have 'defended' me and appreciated the photo for what it is: the image of an artistic swimmer proud of her achievements.

"This is the Italy I proudly represent carrying the tricolor flag around the world."

Featured image credit: Zuma Press / Alamy