Olympian Zoe Smith, 18, has found herself the target of online attacks courtesy of Twitter, according to The Huffington Post. The young weightlifter is representing England in the 2012 Olympics, and was recently featured on the BBC's Girl Power - Going For The Gold, a program which highlighted her battle to make it onto the Olympic team alongside heavy lifters Helen Jewell and Hannah Powell. The attacks started via Twitter, and the young Olympian was forced to respond via her blog.
The obvious choice of slander when talking about female weightlifting is how they're unfeminine and girls shouldn't be strong or have muscles. This is wrong, the Olympian wrote, adding People who do think like this seem to be chauvinistic, pig-headed blokes who feel emasculated by the fact that we, three small, fairly feminine girls, are stronger than them. Simple as that.
Smith has also met resistance not only from male attackers, but also from women. She continues on her blog, You'd think that young women would commend us for doing something different with our lives, and putting 100% effort into it to make something of ourselves. But apparently we're 'weird' for not constantly eating crap, binge drinking and wearing the shortest, tightest dresses that the high street has to offer. Sigh.
It's truly sad to see such a talented, young athlete harassed in such a way, especially with the hopes of a nation riding on her shoulders. With the Olympics right around the corner, Smith's events begin on July 28. Having changed her Twitter handle, and with her primary harasser's account suspended, Smith has been having fun with the attention.