In a big rebuff to 'all misogynistic perverts in sport', Australian swimming ace Madeline Groves withdrew from Olympic trials, meaning she won't compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Groves clinched two silver medals in the 200m butterfly and 4x100m medley events at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 26-year-old, one of her country's strongest medal hopefuls, was set to make her second Olympic appearance in Tokyo this year.
On Wednesday, Groves took to social media to announce her decision to withdraw from the Olympic trials. Explaining to her fans why she took the stand, Groves wrote:
"Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers --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."
Her announcement drew widespread praise and attention from fans and media outlets alike. However, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) was not available for comment on her statement.
The way they stare made me feel uncomfortable: Madeline Groves
Although it isn't clear who she hinted at, Groves had made a similar claim on Twitter last year. In the tweet, she said a man had made her feel uncomfortable with the way he was staring at her.
"Can I just say, that I definitely made a complaint a few years ago about a person that works at swimming making me feel uncomfortable the way they stare at me in my togs, and I think they’ve possibly been given a promotion since," Groves wrote in her tweet last year.
In response to Groves' tweet, Swimming Australia said they had reached out to Groves but she had declined to give them further details.
Groves has made a massive personal sacrifice in the hope of bringing about a change in the misogynistic sporting community. Over the past few years, several elite sportswomen have stood against toxic and misogynist culture and the damage it does to their careers. However, gender equality is fast spreading and the traditional regressive gender roles are melting, paving the way for a better society.